A Mother's Day reading
The Original Proclamation:
While countries around the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at
different times throughout the year, several countries, including the
United States, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Turkey and
Sri Lanka celebrate it on the second Sunday of May.
the United States, the origins of the official holiday go back to 1870,
when Julia Ward Howe - an abolitionist best remembered as the poet who
wrote 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' - worked to establish a Mother's
Peace Day. Howe dedicated the celebration to the eradication of war, and
organized festivities in Boston for years.
In 1907, Anna Jarvis, of Philadelphia, began the campaign to have
Mother's Day officially recognized, and in 1914, President Woodrow
Wilson did this, proclaiming it a national holiday and a "public
expression of our love and reverence for all mothers."
Today's commercialized celebration of candy, flowers, gift
certificates, and lavish meals at restaurants bears little resemblance
to Howe's original idea. There is nothing wrong with that. But here, for
the record's sake, is the proclamation she wrote in 1870, which
explains, in her own impassioned words, the goals of the original
holiday.Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your 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 is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out 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
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after
his 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 peace.