Blessed Are The Mothers
In 1870, author, suffragist, and pacifist Julia Ward Howe campaigned for Mother’s Peace Day, the forerunner of Mother’s Day (which was also created thanks to the vision of a mother and daughter, both named Anna Jarvis). In her Mother’s Peace Day Proclamation, Howe, the author of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” appealed to mothers throughout the world to put an end to war:
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!
Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall 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 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
Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow 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 then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place 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
— Julia Ward Howe
Now, after 140 more years of untold war horrors that Howe could never have imagined, the suffering and bloodshed still continue. So on this day of the Mothers, in the name of the Great Mother, let us all — mothers, fathers, men and women — affirm and dedicate ourselves, to this proclamation.
So mote it be.