Mother's Day: Stand in the Park for Peace
Brothers and sisters,
I received this today. Do you have plans for Mother's Day yet? Maybe you will choose to stand in a local park as a sign of your concern for peace!
For your interest, I've included Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day declaration (1870) at the bottom of this message. To read a brief history of the feminist and peace-oriented origins of Mother's Day, please visit about.com.
Peace and grace,
On Earth Peace
Apparently received from: Teena Booth, Phoenix, AZ
Hello! As you are someone who has been putting a lot of effort into creating peace, I want to let you know about another peace-making opportunity at http://www.standintheparkforpeace.org
It is an invitation to participate in a nationwide Mother's Day peace event that will take place within walking distance of you (or at least very nearby). Called "Stand in the Park for Peace," it is inspired by my friend Sharon Mehdi's book, The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering. It is not intended as a protest, but as a non-political way to embody peace in our local communities. Sharon tells me there are groups all over the country and in Canada planning to stand on Mother's Day at the same time.
Please take a look at the site, and if you think it is a worthwhile effort, I ask your help in getting the word out to your organization, your readers, your mailing list, your family, your friends, your neighbors... To anyone who will feel relief at having the chance to express their desire for peace in a simple and respectful way. No organizing is needed. Just spread the word and we may see people everywhere, standing with quiet conviction in support of peace, in parks all over the country, all at the same time.
Recently I learned that Mother's Day was first envisioned in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe as a day for mothers and women to gather together in support of peace. I love the idea of honoring the original intent of the day .
I hope you will feel equally inspired. I hope you can help get the word out.
Thanks so much,
MOTHER'S DAY DECLARATION
JULIA WARD HOWE, 1870
Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
"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.