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Did you know the original intention behind Mother’s Day?  I only learned about this last year, but immediately fell in love with it ….

In 1870, social justice advocate Julia Ward Howe wrote her inspired Mother’s Day Proclamation.  It called on all women to come together to honour and grieve for the dead and to work towards world peace.  Julia wrote it after witnessing the horrors of the Civil War, seeing the damage the war did to the soldiers, and how this trauma continued long past the end of the fighting, affecting the entire family and the whole community.  She called for a day when women put aside all the work at home and meet together to come up with actions and solutions for making the world a better place.

I have included the Proclamation below, but this is my most favourite part:

“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.”

 

MOTHER’S DAY PROCLAMATION
Boston, 1870

“Arise, then… women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
whether our 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 of murder is not the balance of justice.
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
nor violence vindicate 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 council.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take council with each other as to the means
whereby the great human family can live in peace,
each bearing after his own kind 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.“

~ Julia Ward Howe