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This is the original Mother’s Day proclamation, written by Julia Ward Howe, famed writer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” in Boston, 1870 when she was 51 years old. It was an impassioned appeal to womanhood to rise against war in response to the barbarity of the Franco-Prussian War. She was appalled by “the cruel and unnecessary character of the contest. . . a return to barbarism, the issue having been one which might easily have been settled without bloodshed.”
“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have heart, whether our baptism be that of water or tears!
‘We will not have our 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.’
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limits of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consider with its objects to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”
Let us take her eloquent plea for peace to heart. In the name of all the mothers all through time beginning with the creatrix Mother Goddesses and in the interest of our precious Mother Earth, let us lend our voice, our time, our money, our energy and our passion to the cause of peace on the planet.
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She is the Midlife Midwife™ offering counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.
Consult the Midlife Midwife™: http://www.donnahenes.net/queen/consult.shtml
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.