Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.
In the 1800's, Julia Ward Howe, original advocate for “Mother’s Day” and writer of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” nursed and tended the wounded during the civil war. She worked with the widows and orphans of soldiers on both sides of the war, and realized that the effects of the war go beyond the killing of soldiers in battle. The devastation she witnessed called her to "rise up through the ashes and devastation" calling out for a day dedicated to peace: Mother's Day. In her various social capacities Julia tirelessly worked for justice throughout her life. (Read more about the life of Julia Ward Howe and her work around Mother's Day here.)
"Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!
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 our 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 their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of 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."
*Please note: The Peace Alliance may use part of your story in a future email blast.
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Tell congress "Peace wants a Piece of the Pie!"
TELL YOUR STORY
What brought you to care about the cause of peace?
What stirred the Mother or Grandmother in you to work for the great cause of peace? (Whether male or female, parent or not, the spirit of nurturing in you). Was it a personal experience with violence? Witnessing devastation? Seeing so many children hurt on the news? Whatever the impetus, please share your personal story below about what drew your interest/passion to this cause.*