Mother’s Day started as Mother’s Peace Day in 1870 when activist Julia Ward Howe – underscoring the pain and suffering caused by the Civil War – urged women to come together in solidarity against warfare in all forms.
To advance this cause, Howe – who also wrote the text of the Battle Hymn of the Republic – penned in Boston her Mother’s Day Proclamation: “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!’ … 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, the great and general interests of peace.”
President Woodrow Wilson’s official 1912 declaration of Mother’s Day dropped the word “Peace,” ironically two years before the outbreak of World War I. Today, peacemaking remains much on the minds of the world’s mothers, especially those with children deployed in active duty – and also those who must struggle daily to provide necessities for their children.
The Episcopal Church is daily engaged in assisting with these concerns. A notable example within U.S. borders are the efforts through which congregations and individuals are helping Gulf Coast residents rebuild their lives after the 2005 hurricanes.
Internationally, the Episcopal Church’s engagement of the Millennium Development Goals brings central focus to the needs of women and children in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, in achieving universal primary education for girls as well as boys, in promoting gender equality and empowering women, in reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.
[For more on the Episcopal Church’s efforts in these areas, visit http://www.globalgood.org.]
The need for sharing in these efforts is underscored by the following text written by a girl living in the Prachakittisuk Church Orphanage in Chiangrai, Thailand. Her writing is displayed as part of a collection of art, poetry and essays created for Anglican Women’s Empowerment, an international grassroots organization founded in 2003 to promote gender equity and to mobilize the power of women to pursue a humane agenda worldwide. [For more on AWE, visit http://www.episcopalchurch.org/uncsw.htm]
Essay About My Mother
My teacher asked our class to write an essay about our mothers. The essay is due tomorrow. But this assignment is too diffi cult for me. I don’t have a mother.
How can I write a good essay?
I don’t understand about a mother’s care. Is it true that a mother’s hug is warm? Eating a family dinner is only a dream for me. I’ve never heard a mother’s lullaby. I’ve never felt the warmth of someone tucking me into bed. My heart has never been warm even when I’m warm in bed. I always sleep alone.
I don’t have anything to write for this assignment. I can’t turn anything in for the teacher to read tomorrow. My paper only has tear drops on it.
Mother, if you still alive, wherever you are, whoever you are, please send love to me. If you hear me now, please think of me just a little bit.
I promise I will be a good child.
(This text was written by Episcopal Life and can be found here: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/documents/elo_bullInsert_051307_half.pdf)