For All the Mothers

In the words of Julia Ward Howe who put out the first call for a Mother’s Day, in protest of the Civil war that had taken away so many mothers’ children: From the bosom of the devastated Earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, Disarm, disarm!  Today more than ever, let’s listen to Julia’s call and bring together our mothers, daughters, aunts, children and everyone who works for an end to misogyny, militarism, racism, and every form of hate that causes wars. Military intervention always  brings more death, destruction, and heartbreak.Let us celebrate the nurturing essence of motherhood and together, and build an economy of peace.

Here in Mexico, Mother’s Day is honored every May 10 with gusto. Churches celebrate a special Mass, and the highpoint of many events is the singing of “Las Mañanitas” and the distribution of tamales and atole to all local mothers. To my own mother in Florida at age 98, I offer my love and gratitude. And may all of us remember that the Mother of us all is our bodacious planet Earth.

mothers in Zalce muralmothers and daughters, Zalce mural

 

mother from Alfredo Zalce mural

mothers under moon, Alfredo Zalce mural
from Alfredo Zalce mural in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico

mother in Zalce mual, Moreliamothers under the moon in Alfredo Zalce mural

Origin of Mothers Day

Today I honor the beautiful Marie Himley Sartori, my mother,

Mama and Susie

Marie Sartori this day, nearly 98
Marie Sartori this day, nearly 98

author's mother in nursing home

and give a special tribute to Julia Ward Howe, who in 1870 wrote the following original Mother’s Day Proclamation as a protest to the carnage of the Civil War:

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have heart, whether our baptism be that of water or tears! Say firmly:

‘We will not have our 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.’

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limits of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period considered with its objects to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, and the great and general interests of peace.”

For the love of all mothers’ sons and daughters, let us take Julia Ward Howe’s eloquent plea to heart. Let us look at our own lives, and search out where and how each of us can contribute peace. If you are so moved, please comment on how, in your own small or large way, you add peace to the world.(more on Julia Ward Howe)

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Origin of Mother’s Day

The origin of Mothers Day: JULIA WARD HOWE’s original “Appeal to Womanhood throughout the World,” penned in Boston in 1870:

Arise, then, women of this day! 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 of murder 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.

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 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, and the great and general interests of PEACE.

Julia Ward Howe

Mothers Day

photo by Linda Sartori
photo by Linda Sartori

Mothers Day was started  as a protest to the carnage of the Civil War by women who had lost their sons. Here is the original Mother’s Day Proclamation, written in Boston, 1870 by Julia Ward Howe:

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have heart, whether our baptism be that of water or tears! Say firmly: ‘We will not have our 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. In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limits of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period considered with its objects to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, and the great and general interests of peace.”

         Women all over the world are still losing their children to wars. Let’s take Julia Ward Howe’s eloquent plea to heart. Let’s look at our own lives, and search out where and how each of us can make peace. How will you contribute to a peaceful world?