24-hour Mother's Day Vigil at White House Calls for Peace

CODEPINK: Women For Peace

This Mother's Day, we held our second 24-hour vigil in front of the White House, where we honored all mothers and women who live where war is happening— where women are paying the price with their bodies, loved ones, homes, future. We wanted to recognize the price they pay and honor their courage and power, by standing with them in solidarity to not only tell their important stories but to model what women-centered community looks and acts like. We wanted to encourage other organizations and community groups around the country and the world to bring their stories to celebrate Julia Ward Howe's original call for Mother's Day.

We continued our call for our troops to come home from Afghanistan and Iraq so that no more mothers will suffer the unbearable grief of losing a child to these wars. And with your help, we have also sent a message of sorrow, friendship and peace directly to the women suffering in occupation and their families.

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Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870

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 bosom 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 out 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.

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