What’s the Buzz? The Real Story of Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day. By all means, celebrate the wonderful, nurturing people in your life. That should be something we do everyday- find a moment in out tumultuous lives to be thankful for those who raised us up. But please- also honor the spirit in which this day began.
In 1870 — nearly 40 years before it became an official U.S. holiday in 1914 — social justice advocate Julia Ward Howe issued her inspired Mother’s Day Proclamation, which called upon mothers of all nationalities to band together to promote the “amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.” She envisioned a day of solemn council where women from all over the world could meet to discuss the means whereby to achieve world peace.
Here, for the record’s sake, is the proclamation written in 1870 in the impassioned words of Julia Ward Howe, the goals of the original holiday.
“Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your 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 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 learning after his 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.”
In the spirit of this original call, this occasion can be a time to dedicate ourselves, on behalf of mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers everywhere, to rise up and protect our most vulnerable .There is no need more urgent than addressing the devastation brought on by violence in all of its forms – affecting the lives of untold millions in our nation and around the world. Then, we may finally see the carnage and devastation of violence and war fade into its own history.
I’m including some photos of the magnificence of Spring on our Coast as my Gift to you- to all of you, who love and nurture others.