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Sheehan Even Lies About Mother’s Day

Is nothing sacred to her? (Of course, I kid.)

Behold the momentous tidings from the latest Code Pink press release:

Susan Sarandon, Cindy Sheehan, Randi Rhodes, Dolores Huerta, and Patch Adams Will Lead 24-Hour Mother’s Day Peace Vigil at White House

Mothers nationwide call for peace in Iraq and Iran

SAN FRANCISCO / WASHINGTON – May 11 – This weekend, on May 13-14, 2006, celebrities, peace activists, mothers and families will gather in front of the White House from 3pm on Saturday until 3pm on Sunday to call for an end to the war in Iraq and stand against a military attack on Iran. Actress Susan Sarandon, Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan, Reverend Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, journalist Randi Rhodes, singer/songwriter Jill Sobule, labor leader Dolores Huerta, and doctor/clown Patch Adams are among the hundreds who will participate.

Citing the original Mother’s Day Proclamation by Julia Ward Howe, the organizers say that the holiday historically calls for women to act against war. Written in 1870, Howe’s statement urges women to rise up with a call to “Disarm! Disarm!” and find “the means whereby the great human family can live in peace.”

“I don’t want any more moms to grieve for a child lost in this unjust, unnecessary war in Iraq,” says Gold Star mother Cindy Sheehan. “This Mothers Day we’ll be outside the White House all day and all night demanding that our children come home from Iraq and not be sent to another reckless war in Iran.”

The weekend plans include an evening concert, film screenings, workshops on legislative strategies, writing letters to Laura Bush, a pink pajama party, an interfaith service on Sunday morning, and a visit to Walter Reed Hospital to deliver roses to mothers/wives of injured soldiers.

“The original intent of Mother’s Day was not to give your mom chocolates or breakfast in bed, but for mothers to join together to stop war,” says Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK: Women for Peace, the group organizing the event. “With the war raging in Iraq and another war looming in Iran, we invite mothers all over this country to join us in demanding a peaceful world for ourselves and our children.”

The vigil is emblematic of shifting sentiments against the war. Six in ten Americans now consider the war in Iraq a mistake. Furthermore, 72% of deployed troops and 62% of American women favor a full withdrawal of troops before the end of 2006, according to a Zogby poll of February 2006 and a Gallup poll of December 2005, respectively.

Susan Sarandon will be present from 1-4pm on Sunday, when organizers plan a dramatic action.

It is historical revisionism of the typical leftist kind to say that Mother’s Day "historically calls for women to act against war."

Yes, Julia Ward Howe issued a Mother’s Day proclamation in Boston in 1870. And she called for such a day to be observed each year nationally in 1872. But her efforts to frame Mother’s Day as a call for pacifism and disarmament by women were a total bust.

The real Mother’s Day in the US is the brainchild of Anna Jarvis. And it was brought to fruition by her daughter, Anna Jarvis Reeves. It was made a national holiday by the warmonger, President Woodrow Wilson, just a couple of months before the start of the Great War.

From the site of the first unofficial Mother’s Day celebration, a church in Grafton WV, which is now the International Mother’s Day Shrine:


The founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis and her daughter, Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis.

The Founding of Mother’s Day

On May 1, 1864, in the little village of Webster, four miles south of Grafton, West Virginia, Granville and Ann Jarvis welcomed their daughter, Anna Jarvis, into the world. The Grafton area was an important railroad center during the Civil War and Mrs. Jarvis’ birthplace had served as a temporary headquarters for Gen. McClellan in 1861.

During the war years, Ann Jarvis worked very hard to provide nursing care and promote better sanitation, which helped save thousands of lives on both sides of the conflict. After the war, she continued her work to help heal the wounds of the war years and bring families and communities together again. Young Anna received her basic education in the public schools of Grafton and attended Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.

In 1902, after the death of Granville Jarvis, the family moved to Philadelphia. It was there that Ann Jarvis passed away on May 9, 1905. Two years later, in 1907, on the second Sunday in May, Anna invited several friends to her home in Philadelphia, in commemoration of her mother’s life. On this occasion, she announced her idea – a day of national celebration in honor of mothers – a Mother’s Day.

The following spring, Anna wrote to the Superintendent of Andrews Methodist Church Sunday School in Grafton, suggesting that the church in which her mother had taught classes for twenty years, celebrate a Mother’s Day in her honor. The idea appealed to Mr. Loar and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day service was held in the church. Anna established the white carnation as the symbol of the celebration and developed other text and visual tools in honor of the event. It was Anna who coined the term, "Mother’s Day Association", used during the period she was developing her concept of what Mother’s Day should be.

Subsequently, West Virginia Gov. William E. Glasscock issued the first Mother’s Day proclamation on April 26, 1910. In 1912, at the General Methodist Conference in Minneapolis, MN, Anna was recognized as the founder of Mother’s Day. A joint resolution in the United States Congress designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The official resolution was approved by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

Since 1908, a celebration for mothers has taken place at the Andrews Methodist Church, now known as the International Mother’s Day Shrine, in the town of Grafton, West Virginia. This historic building has been designated a national historic Landmark and is the focal point in the town’s preparation for a centennial celebration of the first Mother’s Day in May, 2008.

Oddly enough, and much like Mother Sheehan, Anna Jarvis Reeves became a middle aged crank.

Reeves incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association, and then claimed to own the copyright on the second Sunday of May.

She and her sister Ellsinore (cf. Dede Miller) spent their family inheritance campaigning against the holiday. Anna was even once arrested for her anti-Mother’s Day protests. Both sisters died in poverty.

Reeves’ turning on her life’s mission is also not unlike what happened with Julia Ward Howe. Howe, after her abolitionist dreams were realized, began to denounce the merits of war-making.

But of course Ms. Howe didn’t always feel that way. When she still believed in freedom she poured her warlike sentiments into this catchy little number:

The Battle Hymn Of The Republic

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
As ye deal with my condemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.

Maybe the promised "dramatic action" will be Susan Sarandon giving a dramatic reading of Howe’s soul-stirring anthem.

(Of course I kid again.)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 12th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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