Article Overview:   When Mothers of Peace gather in a circle and cry out the pain of their soul, it frightens the Beast of Terror.  It warns the Beast of Terror that Mothers of Vigilance are on their way to hunt him down, find him, and corral him.


Monday--March 31, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 565
Quiet Mothers Of Peace
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Mar. 31-- I call them the Quiet Mothers Of Peace.   They don't march and shout or rush to hog a television camera lens.   They are mothers, quiet ones, who pray and ask for peace for those they love.

Mothers who pray for peace for those they love = Mothers of Peace

       Most have sons or daughters in Iraq, or, about to go there.   Many are grandmothers.   Some are aunts who have their own children, but offer their prayers and support for their sister's or brother's children. Some are sisters. 
        They number over a million at minimum, counting one mother, one mother-in-law, one grandmother, and one grandmother-in-law for each of the 250,000 American troops either in or destined for assignment to Iraq.   This doesn't include the aunts who are mothers, or the friends of the mothers, or mothers-in-law, or friends of the grandmothers and grandmothers in law who support their friend's support of a son or daughter or grandchild.  That number starts to expand into the tens of millions.   When mothers support mothers, calculators are needed.
       Of course, there isn't a 100 percent agreement within the Mothers of Peace about the politics of the war in Iraq.  Two mothers could be diametrically opposed to the "rightness" or "wrongness" of U.S. intervention in Iraq.    But there is a universal desire among friends that no harm comes to the child or grandchild of their friend.   This transcends all political debate.  The common desire for the safety of the child, the grandchild, the nephew, the niece, swats away the politics of difference, erases the Left and Right, the Pro-War and Anti-War labels so quickly affixed by society's need to identify, catalogue, sort, and cement one's affiliation with or against a cause. 

Iraqi mother putting flowers on her son's grave

       Pollsters don't waste their time surveying mothers and asking:  "Are you for or against the safe return of your son and daughter from war?"
       Few would also expect mothers to speak out against their children's military presence by asking:  "Even with your child in Iraq, would you say you are pro American policy or anti-American policy?   Would you say you are pro killing the enemy if your son or daughter has a better chance of coming home safety, or against killing the enemy even though it means a greater risk of your child being killed or wounded?"
      Some things are sacrosanct.

WMP was founded by Rev. Victoria Booth Demarest to foster world peace through the work of mothers. The organization was discontinued in October, 1971

      Since the dawn of time and the dawn of war, mothers have fought against war.   Their children suffer.  The enemies' children suffer.
      Not to discount the men who feel the sorrow of death, men are usually the combatants of war, and women--the mothers of warriors--pray and suffer the sorrow of the deaths of sons, husbands, daughters.
       A Mother Of Peace is not a war protestor, for she knows it is far too late once war commences to argue against it.   A Mother of Peace is a Peace Promoter, who, during the time following war, reminds all those around her the importance of promoting Vigilance so that war will not break out.

Julia Ward Howe called for a Mothers Day for Peace

      I find it interesting that the news reports little of the mother's viewpoints on war.   There is an occasional splurge, a spattering, but nothing that allows one to sink his or her teeth into.
Julia Ward Howe who wrote the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," called in 1870 for a Mothers Day for Peace each year, that women might gather together to do something to put an end to violent conflict. In her words; "Let [women] 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."
       Today, I believe Julia Howe would be asking for a Mother's of Vigilance Day, a day in which each mother would be asked to vow to battle the Beast of Terror for another year.    Violence, a mother knows, begins at home.  It begins with one's thinking, one's actions, and one's reactions to other actions. 

"Mothers Against Terrorism" handing out yellow ribbons

       Last Friday I went to Rockefeller Center where Mothers For Peace were passing out yellow ribbons to passersby, promoting support for the troops.   The group, "Mothers Against Terrorism" was formed after the Nine Eleven attacks.   The issue of pro- or anti-war was not part of their message.  "We want our troops and their families to know that we support them," said member Hillary Markowitz.  "I feel that if mothers would come together from all different races, religions and ethnic backgrounds, there is not a mother on Earth who wants her child killed." 


Yellow Ribbons decorate Rockefeller Center

     These Mothers for Peace ("Mothers Against Terrorism") tied the yellow ribbons to trees across from NBC and Radio City, on trees along Fifth and Sixth Avenue.  The group's goal is to have them put up around New York and the tri-state area.

      Women have been a vital part of the process of finding peace in the world.   The following have fought for an end to violence, both of the emotional and physical kind.   They have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.


Baroness Bertha von Suttner - Nobel Peace Prize in 1905

Jane Addams - shared Nobel Peace Prize in 1931

Emily Green Balch - shared Nobel Peace Prize in 1946

Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan - Nobel Peace Prize in 1976

Mother Teresa - Nobel Peace Prize in 1979

Alva Myrdal - shared Nobel Peace Prize in 1982

Aung San Suu Kyi - Nobel Peace Prize in 1991
                           (on cover)

Rigoberta Menchύ Tum - Nobel Peace Prize in 1992


        As there are more and more demonstrations in America and around the world between factions seeking to divide societies into two camps, pro- and anti-, and not just war, but regarding America, the Administration, the military, the President, the United Nations, ad infinitum.
       One might say that the Iraqi War has opened up many pro- and anti- doors, and has set one neighbor against another, and one nation against another when it takes sides in opposition to another.
       But there is one constant in the cleavage, one main artery flowing through the midst of all the veins.   That is the Mothers of Peace.

Be a Mother of Peace, a Mother of Vigilance

        Mother Teresa may not have given birth to a physical child, but for millions upon millions she was a spiritual mother, offering solace and comfort to those worn weary by wars of poverty, wars of ignorance, wars of famine, wars of disease and wars of violence.    She was a Mother of Vigilance, holding up a Sword and Shield of Vigilance, pleading with the world to stop, measure, look at the pain of war before it could get started.
       Mother Teresa as well as the vast majority of all mothers knew the only way to keep war from happening was to corral the Beast of Terror.
       Fighting Fear, Intimidation and Complacency with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children is the only way to neutralize the Beast.
        Mothers know this.
        Be a Mother of Peace.
       Become a Mother of Vigilance.
       Take the Pledge of Vigilance today.




Mar. 30--The Peace of War

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