Every year, the president makes an official proclamation for Mother’s Day. The Mother’s Day proclamation is a tradition evolved from the very first Mother’s Day in 1870, when Mother’s Day founder Julia Ward Howe did the proclaiming. In its current incarnation, it’s an opportunity for the president to extend some hearty praise for the work mothers do, and how this country wouldn’t be where we are today without them.
It’s also a chance for the president to make a public statement about motherhood and family life, expressing some of his personal talking points and sending a message to the country. Last year’s proclamation may have been the most inclusive in history as Obama stressed the diversity of mothers and families, making special note of single moms, same-sex parents, working mothers and more.
This year’s continues that theme but focuses more on the sacrifices motherhood involves, the president doesn’t miss the opportunity to tout administration initiatives he says are helping make motherhood easier, including changes to the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit and his health care plan, the Affordable Care Act, as well as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign.
Do you think those initiatives are making life — and raising kids, specifically — easier for kids? Do you think Obama should have left mention of his own policy intiatives out of his Mother’s Day proclamation, or is this an appropriate place to mention those efforts?
Here are both proclamations in their entirety:
Generations of mothers have labored tirelessly and selflessly to support and guide their children and families. Their loving, devoted efforts have broadened horizons for their children and opened doors of opportunity for our Nation’s daughters and granddaughters. On Mother’s Day, we pay tribute to these women who have given so much of themselves to lift up our children and shape America’s character.
Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the words for the song The Battle Hymn of the Republic, led early efforts to establish a day honoring the influence of mothers on our lives and communities. In the ensuing decades, many Americans rallied to support this cause, including Anna Jarvis. After the loss of her own mother, Anna helped spur the nationwide institution of Mother’s Day we celebrate each year.
From our first moments in this world and throughout our lives, our mothers protect us from harm, nurture our spirits, and encourage us to reach for our highest aspirations. Through their unwavering commitment, they have driven and inspired countless acts of leadership, compassion, and service across our country. Many mothers have struggled to raise children while pursuing their careers, or as single parents working to provide for their families. They have carried the torch of trailblazers past, leading by powerful example and overcoming obstacles so their sons and daughters could reach their fullest potential.
Whether adoptive, biological, or foster, mothers share an unbreakable bond with their children, and Americans of all ages and backgrounds owe them an immeasurable debt. Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by two parents, a single mother, two mothers, a step-mom, a grandmother, or a guardian. Mother’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate these extraordinary caretakers, mentors, and providers who have made us who we are. As we honor today’s mothers, we also reflect upon the memory of those who have passed, and we renew our commitment to living the values they cultivated in us.
The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 8, 1914 (38 Stat. 770), has designated the second Sunday in May each year as “Mother’s Day” and requested the President to call for its appropriate observance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 9, 2010, as Mother’s Day. Let us express our deepest love and thanks to our mothers and remember those who, though no longer with us, inspire us still.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
And here’s this year’s:
As our society has changed, so have the challenges facing women raising families. Many American women are raising children at home while caring for an elderly parent, holding down two jobs, serving as the sole parent in a family, or defending our country overseas as a service member. Our Nation’s mothers not only look after our needs and teach us to be compassionate and responsible, but also manage households, build careers, and improve our neighborhoods and communities. While the roles and responsibilities of mothers have evolved, their guidance and care remains as strong and constant as ever.
On Mother’s Day, we celebrate the extraordinary importance of mothers in our lives. The bond of love and dedication a mother shares with her children and family is without bounds or conditions. Whether an adoptive mom or grandmother, mother or partner, the women who raise us show us that no hurdle is too high, and no dream is beyond our reach. As sons and daughters, we show our gratitude for the women in our lives who care for us, shape our values, and set us on the path to a limitless future.
Throughout our history, mothers have made remarkable sacrifices for the well-being of their loved ones. Nearly a century ago, Anna Jarvis, who had suffered the loss of her beloved mother, campaigned with many other Americans to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday and pay respect to all women raising children. Today, we continue to celebrate the influence, love, and nurturing our mothers provide in our lives and in our national life.
To support the parents who are raising tomorrow’s leaders, my Administration is committed to doing all we can to create jobs and economic opportunities for families across America. We are striving to help mothers in the workplace by enforcing equal pay laws and addressing workplace flexibility as families balance the demands of work, child and elder care, and education. My budget strengthens the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to help families afford the cost of quality childcare.
The tax-cut package we passed last December extended expansions of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, providing a tax cut for 15.7 million families with about 29.1 million children. The Affordable Care Act gives women more access to health care and better resources to protect the health of their families by requiring new insurance plans to cover wellness benefits for children, ending the exclusion of pre-existing conditions by insurance companies, and extending parents’ health coverage for young adults up to age 26. First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative is also providing mothers with helpful tools to support their children’s healthy growth.
Mothers are the rocks of our families and a foundation in our communities. In gratitude for their generous love, patient counsel, and lifelong support, let us pay respect to the women who carry out the hard work of motherhood with skill and grace, and let us remember those mothers who, though no longer with us, inspire us still.
The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 8, 1914, (38 Stat. 770), has designated the second Sunday in May each year as “Mother’s Day” and requested the President to call for its appropriate observance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 8, 2011, as Mother’s Day. I urge all Americans to express their love, respect, and gratitude to mothers everywhere, and I call upon all citizens to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
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