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2003-05-10 - 8:24 p.m.

Mother’s Day Proclamation for Peace

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), little known today except as author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," was famous in her lifetime as poet, essayist, lecturer, reformer and biographer. She worked to end slavery, helped to initiate the women's movement in many states, and organized for international peace—all at a time, she noted, "when to do so was a thankless office, involving public ridicule and private avoidance."

She was raised a Calvinist, but later she wrote, "I studied my way out of all the mental agonies which Calvinism can engender and became a Unitarian."

Here are the words of Julia Ward Howe , written in 1870, but alarmingly relevant today. Here’s the complete text of her "Mother’s Day Proclamation for Peace":

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!

Say firmly:

We will not have 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 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 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 peace.

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers out there everywhere. ~Ravyne~

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