Think Peace for Mother's Day

The North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice (NSCPJ) invites mothers, children, and all who love them to

Stand for Peace on Mother's Day 2009!
Sunday, May 10th
1pm to 2pm
at the corner of Church and Maple in downtown Evanston.

NCSP will be "collecting messages of peace to Michelle Obama" while sharing hopes and dreams for a more peaceful world. The group is doing this action in honor of Julia Ward Howe, best known as the author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Howe, five years after the end of the Civil War, ignited the first attempt at a national Mother's Day observance. Her published Mother's Day Proclamation, a call to repudiate war, spawned observances in numerous American cities for about a decade. Thirty years later, the daughter of one of Howe's followers succeeded in starting a less politicized version of the holiday.
Here is the text of Howe's proclamation, which still rings with as much force as it did nearly 140 years ago:
Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870
Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered 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 a 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 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.