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Mother's Peace Day

“Arise all women who have hearts…” - Julie Ward Howe

Do you know the origin of Mother’s Day?

The original intention was a decree, a purpose of heart.

Not all mothers lead with their hearts. Yet, this was the primary message of one Julie Ward Howe, an abolitionist in 1870 who worked to create a “Mother’s Peace Day” - a celebration dedicated to eradicating war.

Her efforts were:

M - Matriarchal

O - Original

T - Tender

H - Heartfelt

E - Earnest

R - Revolutionary

Though Julie Ward Howe was not granted the ‘Mother’s Peace Day’ she had hoped for in 1870, her daughter Anna Jarvis took up the campaign in 1907, and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother’s Day a national holiday “a public expression of our love and reverence for all mothers.”

Though I respect President Wilson’s honor of all mothers, the original message is lost in translation. The appeal was TO mothers, not about mothers. We lost the message of Mother’s “PEACE” Day. The message was of mothers standing together as a message of “cease fire.”

Can mothers come together and create a call to peace today amidst division?

We often stand on the shoulders of those that have gone before and take little notice or give credit to the originators of thought. This legacy work left to future generations is fulfilled in the case of Anna Jarvis, who brought her mother’s message to fruition.

In her Mother’s Day Proclamation, Julie Ward Howe, the “Appeal to women throughout the world,” desired to cease the slaughter of sons, knowing that the men of war would not end alone.

Mothers Peace Day a.k.a Mother's Day.

In the words of Margaret Mead: Never doubt what a small group of thoughtful citizens can do to change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Perhaps it is time to remind the world that Mother’s Day is a call to lead from the heart. A call for peace to unite on behalf of our children and their futures.

So much division in the world, but it is the world of heartfelt and fearless mothers who can bring the world together.

Today Mother's Day is honored worldwide. It is the heart of one Julie Ward Howe and her Mother's Peace Day message that is the reason we celebrate with Hallmark cards, chocolates, spa gifts, and flowers.


Mother’s Day Proclamation by Julie Howe Ward

Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or 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 honor of Mother’s Peace Day

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