Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace


Posted by strattof on May 10, 2012


In North America, Mother’s Day comes from an anti-war Mother’s Day Proclamation written in 1870 by U.S. suffragette, abolitionist, and peace activist Julia Ward Howe.

Horrified by the carnage of the American Civil War, Howe became a crusader for peace and for the equality of all people, regardless of race, religion, or gender.

Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation calls on women everywhere to rise up against war. As a passage from it shows, Howe’s original words are as relevant in 2012 as they were in 1870:

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise, all women who have hearts,

Whether our baptism be of water or of tears!

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.”

It is not too late to answer Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day call for world peace and justice. 



The War’s Extensions Go On and On

According to the April 25th edition of the Globe & Mail, “Stephen Harper is leaving the door open once again to extending Canada’s military participation in the costly Afghanistan war.”

This would be the fourth time the government has prolonged the war in Afghanistan – including 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Canadian troops first landed in Afghanistan in late 2001. An extension beyond 2014 would make this war longer than WWI, WWII, and Korea combined.

The Financial Cost Grows as the War Goes On and On

Canada’s taxpayers’ bill for the conflict is expected to exceed $14-billion, according to Parliament’s independent budget watchdog Kevin Page.

This cost will only increase if the war goes on, diverting funds from needed investments in health care, education, the environment and social services.

Canada’s Human Cost Grows and Grows as Well

Canada has lost 158 soldiers in the Afghanistan War, and 635 more have been seriously wounded in action.

According to the Globe & Mail, one quarter of those soldiers who return suffer from mental illness, even as the Ottawa Citizen reports on federal government cuts to the services that help these same soldiers.

These physical and mental costs will increase if the war goes on.

Afghanistan’s Human Cost Grows and Grows as Well

The civilian death toll in Afghanistan is measured not in the hundreds, but in the thousands—and tens of thousands.

According to the UN, in 2011, the civilian death toll for the war in Afghanistan reached a record high with 3,021 deaths—in just one year. Over 15,000 civilians have died in Afghanistan since 2001.



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