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Mother's Day for Peace

Mother's Day for Peace

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 3:25pm
Grandmother and granddaughter at a peace rally

Passing on the passion for peace...

Photo: AFSC / Martha Yager

Mother's Day day in the United States was initiated in 1870 by a proclamation issued by Julia Ward Howe in response to the carnage of the the Civil War.  Over the years it has become commercialized and the original link to the call for peace has been lost.  So let us honor our mothers and the other women who have been mother figures in our lives by reissuing a call for peace.  Let us rededicate ourselves to building a culture of peace. (You might visit the Center for Nonviolent Solutions website for more ways to do that - click on the Culture of Peace resource on the left sid of the page.)

This Mother's Day we invite you to print our Mother's Day cards and send one to a woman who has been a mother to you or the mother of your child and send another to your congressional representative.  Write a note to them asking them to shift funds from military spending to funding true security - good jobs, affordable housing, health care, rebuilt infrastructure, education and other things that support life and dignity for all.  (scroll down to the bottom of the page for a link to the cards)

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Declaration

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
"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.

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