Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts, whether your 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 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 the means whereby the great human family can live in peace,
And each bearing after her own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
Julia Ward Howe died in 1910. Mother's Day became a national holiday when Woodrow Wilson declared it so in 1914.
Mother's Day...not Mother's Day for Peace.
And so we have forgotten Julia Ward Howe.**
I can't help but wonder how the world might be different today if, "Disarm! Disarm!" had become the annual sentiment of the day. What if, for the last 95 years, instead of Hallmark cards and FTD orders, we'd been gathering together as mothers united with hopes and promises for peace on this earth?
A "great and earnest day of counsel" for women who love their children.
A day to imagine, together, "the great human family" living in peace.
Happy Mother's Day.
**Julia Ward Howe is remembered as the poet who penned the words to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in 1862.