Mother’s Day Proclamation


I love to post this first thing in the morning on Mother’s Day.  This day has become so sickly sweet and meaningless, and this is a good tonic for that. Mothering is not passive:  we have only to look at nature to see that–from mama bears to blue jay mothers.  So here’s to the moms, the muthas, the nurturers, the ones who hold you close and the ones that kick your sorry ass out of the nest. So, today, in addition to a card and some chockies, go out and change the world in ways that your mothers couldn’t. And cut them/us a little slack.  We worked with what we had and tried to do our best.  Arise, children.  Let us all rise.

Mother’s Day Proclamation
by Julia Ward Howe 1870

Arise, then, women of this day! 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 taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another 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 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 & 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 Caesars 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.


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