“The "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother's Day in the United States. Written in 1870, Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War:
Arise, all women who have hearts,
Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!
"We will not have great questions decided 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 the 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 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.” Wikipedia
Unfortunately, to date war continues perhaps as a necessary evil and has been compounded to include women, many of whom are Mothers.
“As far as Julia Ward Howe, being considered as an advocate for a national observation of Mother's Day is clearly denied by her own writing. In her "Reminiscences" Howe states that she was in great opposition to Louis Napoleon from the period of the infamous act of treachery and violence, which made him emperor. She wondered, "Why do not mothers of mankind interfere in these matters, to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?" She felt if she sent an appeal to womanhood throughout the world that the waste of human life in war could be prevented. Howe's little document referred to as "Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation" was not a proclamation about motherhood or her own mother in the sense that Mother's Day is expressed today but rather it was an anti-war movement. I see this woman dressed in black holding up a sign that reads, "Give peace a chance" as we saw during the Vietnam War.” TheHolidayspot
“In 1907, Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948), a Philadelphia schoolteacher, began a movement to set up a national Mother's Day in honor of her mother, Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis. She solicited the help of hundreds of legislators and prominent businessmen to create a special day to honor mothers. The first Mother's Day observance was a church service honoring Anna's mother. Anna handed out her mother's favorite flowers, the white carnations, on the occasion as they represent sweetness, purity, and patience. Anna's hard work finally paid off in the year 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as a national holiday in honor of mothers” Day For Mothers.com
Today carnations are still the official flower of Mother's Day.
“The Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, the Mother Church of Mothers Day, became the International Mothers Day Shrine when it was incorporated on May 15, 1962. This beautiful, historic church, built in 1873, is located on Main Street in downtown Grafton, one mile south of the junction of Routes 50 and 119. It is open April 15 through October 15, Monday through Friday, 9:30 - 3:30; closed Saturdays, Sundays and holidays except by appointment. Reservations are required for tour groups.”
"The International Mother's Day Shrine and Museum will preserve, promote and develop through education, the Spirit of Motherhood, as exemplified by the lives of Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis and Anna Jarvis, and the institution of Mother's Day that they established."
The Mission of the International Mother's Day Shrine is clear: to preserve, promote and develop the Spirit of Motherhood. The over-riding goals of our organization flow from that mission statement. We are striving to launch a new awareness of the International Mother's Day Shrine and Museum and to celebrate the region's historic significance and the founding of Mother's Day as an important facet of its heritage.”