Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mother's Day Proclamation For Peace. Julia Ward Howe, 1870

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts, whether
our baptism be that of water or of fears!

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 of murder is not the balance of justice."

Blood does not wipe our 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 bearing after their 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.

Julia Ward Howe, 1870