Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered 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 a 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 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 failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Anna Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who had attempted starting in 1858 to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.
Anna Jarvis' daughter, also named Anna Jarvis, would of course have known of her mother's work, and the work of Julia Ward Howe. Much later, when her mother died, this second Anna Jarvis started her own crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in West Virginia in 1907 in the church where the elder Anna Jarvis had taught Sunday School. And from there the custom caught on ? spreading eventually to 45 states. Finally the holiday was declared officially by states beginning in 1912, and in 1914 the President, Woodrow Wilson, declared the first national Mother's Day.

In the tradition of women calling for a mother's day for peace, the following appeal has been issued by CodePink.

Mother's Day 2006: A Call for Peace!

  • For a schedule of events click here.

  • For more info to help you plan your trip to DC click here.

  • To see the schedule of teach-ins and workshops planned for Saturday evening and late-night, please click here.

  • Don't forget to check out the Rideshare and Housing resources for coming to Washington D.C.

  • Volunteer at the Vigil! Click here to sign up to volunteer.

  • To our 24-hour vigil in DC. Download the email friendly flyer here!

  • Listen to Randi Rhodes’ Public Service Announcement for Mother's Day

  • To our special fundraising event with Nina Utne, Cindy Sheehan, Ann Wright, Diane Wilson, Medea Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Gael Murphy.
    12 MAY Friday 8:30-10:30PM - $50.00
    BUSBOYS AND POETS, 14th & V Street, NW
    Washington D.C. 20009/U Street Metro
    Click here to buy your ticket
  • Local CODEPINK groups are encouraged to send us reports on events, showcaseing their Mother's Day actions around the country. Click here to upload your photos and media coverage links! NOTE: this is for REPORTING back on events, not for listing upcoming events.
  • View Mother's Day actions around the country in this section!
  • And don't forget to check out the Mother's Day Blogs (see above link)!
  • Honor the Mothers of the Fallen. This Mother's Day (May 14th), many mothers will mark this occasion with a heavy heart. Thousands of mothers – including Cindy Sheehan – who have lost their children to the war in Iraq, will be descending on Washington, D.C. for a 24-hour vigil at the White House to honor the war dead and protest the war. What can you do? Send a Mother's Day rose to Washington, D.C., and let the mothers of fallen soliders know you stand with them – and against the war. Organic roses will be presented to the mothers and then tied to the fence outside the White House as a memorial to the dead and a call for peace. Click here to send your rose now!
  • Write a letter to Laura to ask her how she, as a mother, can continue to support a war that is leaving scores of American and Iraqi mothers bereft. Send your letters to We’ll deliver them en masse; we'll also take the most compelling letters and turn them into a book, “Letters to Laura.”

  • For more info about this project or to see sample letters click here.
  • Get your Mother a gift that fits your values and supports the work of CODEPINK. Check out the CODEPINK online store for ideas and special Mother's Day packages; for an even more special gift add your mom's name to the "My Mom Wants Peace" page.


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