The Original Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870


Julia Ward Howe

To all women, to all men, and to all of Life, I offer you the original Mother’s Day proclamation of 1870 by Julia Ward Howe. Read it and let is wash over you. Take it in and see what comes from it.

I shared this on Facebook, and received many wonderful responses. One response was from my Aunt, a strong vibrant woman. She recognized her own voice in Howe’s and could see this voice in all women; and, she also feels gratitude for all the men in her life that have served when called.

I mention this because I feel both are true. Neither sentiment negates the other. We live in a world of paradox. While we can hold firmly to the knowing that we can have a world in which peace truly exists, we also can honor those who have fought for freedom and justice. There is only one answer to it all – Love, unconditional love.

Sometimes that love is soft, sometimes it is fierce, but hopefully we can all find a way to the love that is unconditional, for all that is, for all of life, for the depth and breadth of how Life reveals itself. If it is all One, then Love means to love it all, unconditionally, while allowing your own being to move towards that which you know from deep within your self is True in every cell of your being.
Arise then…women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
“We will not have questions answered 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 voice of a 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 our 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 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.

thanks to Jonathan Klate, of Amherst, MA, for sharing this.

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