Women: Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or of tears!
Men: Speak up, that all may hear!
W: Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.
M: Say it loud, say it proud!
W: Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.
M: Oh, brothers, can you hear?
W: Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
M: Tell it straight, sisters!
W: We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
M: Don’t hold back now—make it plain!
W: From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own; it says, “Disarm, disarm!”
All together: Disarm, disarm: every heart! every nation!
©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org. Excerpted and adapted from Julia Ward Howe’s “Appeal to Womanhood Throughout the World,” September 1870, where she called for a “Mother’s Peace Day: A time for women and children to speak for the things that make for peace.” This occasion is one of three that lay claim to being the original Mother’s Day observance.