Friday, May 8, 2009

The Mother's Day Proclamation

I came across this awesome proclamation while surfing the web today. It was written by a early feminist who was truly ahead of the times named Julia Ward Howe. Amidst all the carnage left over from the Civil War, she called for not only a national day to celebrate American mothers, but also for peace and solidarity in a country that had seen neither in a long time. I love how she calls for a "congress of women" to come together and promote political ideals that are more in line with modern times than with her own. She is an inspiration to all women, and especially to all mothers who continue to ", mercy, and patience."
As a side note: Julia Ward Howe was also the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which is, incidentally, about the abolition of slavery. Martin Luther King's last public words were "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord," which is the song's first line. Cool huh?

Mother's Day Proclamation

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided 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 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 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 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.

1 comment:

Derick Kesler said...

really interesting post. i liked the bit about martin luther, and i must admit i never knew where mother's day originated from, haha.