Monday, May 14, 2007

Remembering Our Grieving Mothers

As we celebrate Mother's Day, we honor those women blessed with the gift of motherhood. Children throughout the nation remember their mothers with phone calls, flowers, or breakfast in bed. Yet, too many mothers spend the day in grief, with only the memories of children lost before their time.

The earliest Mother's Days in America were celebrated by mothers to promote peace. Many of the mothers who gathered at these first Mother's Day celebrations had sons who died during the Civil War. The original Mother's Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe in 1870 expressed these sentiments:

[Reprinted from –]

Mother's Day Proclamation – 1870
by Julia Ward Howe

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 voice 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 our 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.

We must do all we can to end the deaths of young people caused by the gang culture, school violence, drunk driving, war, and other tragedies. The broken heart of a mother who has lost her child is one of life's greatest tragedies and must move each of us, not only to lives of compassion, but to prevent these senseless deaths from continuing to break the hearts of so many mothers.



Post a Comment

<< Home