Sunday, May 13, 2012

Julia Ward Howe: The Founding Mother of Mother's Day

I always knew that Julia Ward Howe wrote the words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic, the great Union Army Anthem of America's bloody Civil War.  I only recently discovered  that she was also the founding mother of Mother's Day. 

Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, written in 1870, was  her  comment not only on the American Civil War, but on all war, in general.  It was a pacifist, feminist manifesto, dedicated to the notion that the mothers of the world deserve better than to raise sons as cannon fodder and  that mothers have a duty to shape the destinies not only their families, but also of the societies in which they live.
Howe's proclamation was the first call for a special day,  for mothers in America and far from being  sweet and sentimental, it was a clarion call.

This Mother's Day let's remember not only own mothers, but also the women  who, whether or not they gave birth to children of their own, have nurtured the world .

Happy Mothers Day world!

1 comment:

Ahab said...

After two senseless wars that have left scores of other people's children dead, maimed, or traumatized, I suspect many mothers share her sentiments now.