Mothers Anthem

Linda Breitag 2006, for Nanci Olesen

The original idea for Mother’s Day was no Hallmark card. Julia Ward Howe, who wrote “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” also called for an international Mother’s Day for Peace:

Arise all women who have hearts…

Say firmly: “We will not have 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, 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 bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, “Disarm, Disarm!” (Boston, 1870)

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