Mothers’ Day in the USA has different historical roots from our “mothering Sunday”, although both have regrettably been turned into yet another greetings card and chocolate extravaganza, with no substance to them at all, just a means of inflicting guilty over-spending on a consumerist society.
In the USA I am (reliably I think) informed that Julia Ward Howe, the woman who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic, got it started when she proposed a “mothers’ day for peace” in 1870. Here’s a clip of her speech, known as the Mothers’ Day proclamation. She might just as easily have written in in 1970, or 2001, or 2018…
“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of fears! 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 devasted 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 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 the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, And each bearing after her own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.”