5.12.2007

An Appeal for Mom

While driving south this weekend, I was listening to the local NPR affiliate in another state. There was an appeal by the host reflecting upon a fist fight that had taken place at a theatre that week in the area. Someone wasn't quiet and another decided this was a valid reason to slug the noisemaker. A fight exploded. The performance on stage stopped. All attention was focused upon these two people throwing punches at each other in the midst of the theatre.

And the host appealed to the listening audience across the radio airwaves. She reminded us that though it was President Wilson who pronounced Mother's Day to be a national holiday, he was not the genesis of this day to honor our mothers. In fact, inklings of the first the holiday began long before President Wilson. It happened in 1870 just after the Civil War. It began with the words of feminist, reformer, and writer Julia Ward Howe. She proclaimed the first Mother's Day with these words:

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or 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 taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another 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!"


On the local NPR affiliate, the host asked these theatre goers to disarm. She echoed the words of Julia Ward Howe. These words startled me. Not only because I had never heard the story before, but perhaps because it seems so odd that this holiday was proclaimed as a demand for disarmament and peace. And yet, no one seems to be listening to Mom.

3 comments:

LadyBurg said...

I had no idea. I like that! I need to remember that for next Mother's Day. Puts a whole new twist on it, doesn't it!
Thanks.

Pastor's Husband said...

I don't know why, but your entry made me remember that fantastic George Michael song "Mother's Pride". Here, let me sing it for you...


Oh she knows
She takes his hand
And prays the child will understand
At the door they watch the men go by
In the clothes that daddy wore
Mother's pride
Baby Boy
His father's eyes
He's a soldier waiting for a war
Time will come
He'll hold a gun
His father's son

And as he grows
He hears the band
Takes the step from boy to man
And at the shore she waves her son goodbye
Like the man she did before

Mother's pride
Just a boy
His country's eyes
He's a soldier waving at the shore
And in her heart the time has come
To lose a son

And all the husbands, all the sons, all the lovers gone
They make no difference
No difference in the end
Still hear the women say "your daddy died a hero
In the name of God and man"

Mother's pride
Crazy boy
His lifeless eyes
He's a soldier now forever more
He'll hold a gun till kingdom come...

Pastor Peters said...

I love George Michael!

But, til kingdom come? Must any of our sons or daughers hold guns until the arrival of the kingdom? Doesn't help if I think it's already here, does it?