Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Real Meaning of Memorial Day Should Be the Same as The Real Meaning of Mother's Day

Seeing as Julia Ward Howe and her associates created Mothers Day (though it never took off until business decided to make it a commercial thing, of course) they should be able to say what the real meaning is and it is strongly anti-war.

Though Ms Howe contributed the Battle Hymn of the Republican to the War Between the States (since the South was slowly murdering an entire race of people for the convenience of their wealthy land owners) she turned against war for most causes after seeing the great harm and carnage of what we usually call the "Civil War".

And though her poem uses the archaic language popular in the 19th century, its heart should be one that we can support today.

The 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 is not the balance of justice.” Blood does not wipe out dishonor nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plow 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 then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each learning after his own time, the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at 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.
And yes, like all people of the day in which she wrote, Ms Howe felt that we could rely on some higher being to help us, a philosophy that many feel has not panned out.  Still the feeling in her words is valid, much more supportable than the constant call for war from neocons on Twitter and other parts of the Internet.