Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Mother's Day Proclamation

The poem below was written by Julia Ward Howe. She wrote this in the post civil war movement. It was a call for women to unite for peace and disarmament. She believed it was the responsibility of women to shape society not just through the nurturing of a home, but at a political level as well. What a truly modern thinker. She is considered the the person who started Mother's Day. Modern Mother's has really changed in many ways, maybe it is time to return to the original intention of Ms. Howe.

Mother's Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe

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 of 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
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 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 first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the
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 it 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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