Surfing the net this morning I discovered that Mother’s Day was created by poet, writer and activist, Julia Ward Howe in 1870. A witness to the Civil war, she wrote a Mother’s Day Proclamation hoping to bring together the mothers of the world to unite for peace. Her motivation can be summed up by the following quote taken from her book, Reminiscences:
“Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?”
It took 44 years for her proclamation to be turned into a national holiday and clearly the focus of mother’s day has dramatically shifted from it’s original intended purpose. As we celebrate mother’s day this year may we take a moment to to remember all the moms out there that have buried their children because of this war. Soldiers and civilians, contractors and journalists. Countless lives lost and mother’s with broken hearts and fractured souls.
Julia Ward Howe thought that only mothers would be able to stop the violence that occurs in the world. Interesting that 130 years after her proclamation, we are still faced with the same dilemmas. The weapons are more high tech and but the bloodshed and death are still the same. The only difference between her proclamation and today’s modern warfare, is that woman and men go to war and mother’s lose both their sons and daughters as a result.
A Mother’d Day Proclamation
By Julia Ward Howe
Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have breasts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil at the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.