Americans have celebrated Mother’s Day officially for nearly a century. President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May a national holiday in 1914, following a campaign by Anna Jarvis, who trademarked the name “Mother’s Day” and formed the Mother’s Day International Association.

Jarvis herself first celebrated Mother’s Day in 1908 by holding a memorial for her mother in Grafton, W.Va.

She insisted that the name be Mother’s, not Mothers’ or Mothers Day, to encourage each family to honor their mother individually rather than all mothers together.

In honor of this special day, we invited readers to write short essays describing their mother’s greatest gift to them.

Teresa Taylor