Mother’s Day Proclamation

Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether your 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 out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession.

—from the “Mother’s Day Proclamation” (1870) by Julia Ward Howe: suffragette, abolitionist, and author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

There is still no stronger anti-war argument than hers. There is no sadder idea than the idea that you could spend 9 months tearing your own body apart to build a person, and sacrifice the next decades of your life to rear that infant to adulthood, only to have him killed by a stranger to satisfy the ambitions of someone who didn’t know his name.

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