Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870


Another year has come and gone, and in the last year, so many mothers have lost their sons in senseless violence.  Some of these losses have made the national news, and have become losses for the entire nation, as our cities are rocked with violence and unrest protesting the deaths, but this doesn’t help the mother who buries her son in the ground and faces what may be her first Mother’s Day without that card or flowers or just a hug from her baby.

Women — mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts — have lost beloved women in their lives — mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, friends too dear to be merely ‘friends’ — to breast cancer and other forms of cancer, and still no cures to be found.

Mothers  have lost brave sons and daughters in the military, heroes who have given their lives for their country.  And Mothers have sons and daughters who have blessedly returned alive from combat, but who are damaged in ways visible and invisible.  To these mothers, we send our love and thank you for the gift you have given to your country.  We don’t want you to feel as if you’ve been forgotten, for we know that it is not only your child who made a sacrifice, but you as well.

To all who have lost beloved women in their lives, I share a tradition I cherish when I think of those I have lost:  As long as one person lives who remembers their name, they are never truly gone nor forgotten.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women of the world.  May your light shine everyday and may you always know how much are loved and respected by those around you.

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Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870 – Julia Ward Howe

“Arise, the 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 questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking of 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 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,
each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Ceasar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
that a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
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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Copyright 2014 Barbara Mattio

Copyright 2014 Barbara Mattio

4 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Proclamation of 1870

  1. inavukic says:

    Such a powerful and focused declaration, Barbara – love it

  2. Joanne Corey says:

    Thank you for sharing the Proclamation. So meaningful. I often share it on FB for Mother’s Day.

  3. D.G.Kaye says:

    Beautiful tribute Barb. 🙂

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