HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

Bon Voyage

Well, here it is Mother’s Day, and mine is far away. Irony has it that I’m actually visiting my father, in Jackson, MS. It’s appropriate-I don’t think I’ve ever seen him on Father’s Day. And I wouldn’t be alive and scooting for Peace without their combined effort to bring me here.

The history of Mother’s Day had escaped me until I attended the ATL WAND’s Mother’s Day for Peace event. Julia Howard Howe, a social activist, first declared Mother’s Day, as a call for Peace and disarmament. This declaration was inspired by Anna Jarvis, who worked to bring better sanitary conditions to those fighting on both sides of the Civil War.

Is there an official monument for this holiday? Why, yes. It is in Grafton, West VA, where the first celebration was held. The custom obviously spread and was recognized by Woodrow Wilson in 1914. The President said that it was a day to honor Mother’s whose sons had died in war.

Interesting roots, eh? Peace is at the heart of what is now a smashing, commercial success. Only 9 years after its initial celebration, Jarvis, the inspirator of the event, refused to celebrate it because  commercial hype had replaced the original intent.

Restaurant statistics show that it is the most popular day to dine out; an expected 3.51 billion is forecasted to be spent today on just dining out. Not to mention all the other hoopla; flowers, jewelry and cards. My mom should be receiving a great card and an even better P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER tshirt. Now I know exactly how appropriate my gift is.

Maybe try having your mom over for dinner instead today, and impress her by telling her that her day is more than just a Hallmark Greeting after all. Her day started as a declaration:

To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Funny how Peace too has become a commercial success. How about to honor this forgotten history some people will leave their peace definitions on the wall!

Official declaration, written in 1870:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

 

Say firmly:
“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will 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, the 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 plough 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 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 Caesar,
But of God.

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 someplace 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.