The Mother’s Day Project

War is Personal

Because We Are All Daughters & Sons

The Mother’s Day Project is not – as the name would suggest – a cross-stitch sampler of aprons and biscuits and babies and other sentimental iconography associated with mothers and motherhood.  Truth is, The Mother’s Day Project is only marginally about mothers.


So, why the name?  Mostly, it evolved in the context of several on-going discussions and experiences from my own life, thinking about my years as a single-parent, blogging about the very real lack of support (both governmental and cultural) for working parents and their families, along with a healthy mix of stream-of-consciousness meandering of the sort that can only occur when one has time, quiet, sunlight and is just exhausted enough to allow the brain to meander and construct run-on sentences like this one.


It’s nice to discover that Julia Ward Howe envisioned the original Mother’s Day as a Peace Movement following her experiences during the American Civil War.  That fact certainly lends credibility to the name.  As human beings, the work of bringing peace to our personal relationships, our communities, our country and our world may be the most noble and necessary endeavor of our lifetime.  I am all in favor of returning Mother’s Day to its original purpose and I hope this small, grassroots project will advance a return to the genesis of the day.


The larger purpose of The Mother’s Day Project is to draw attention to the human cost of the Iraq War.  While the parameters of the Project focus on women who have lost their lives serving as part of the Coalition forces in Iraq, it is not meant to exclude recognition for others who have lost their lives due to this war.  Male soldiers, men, boys, girls, infants and Iraqi women have died in the thousands.  They are all worthy and deserving of our attention.  They were all part of the universal “us.”


This war, more than any other in my lifetime, has been removed from the collective psyche of our day-to-day lives. What we see, what we know and subsequently, what we feel is tightly controlled.  No flag-draped coffins.  Reporters are “embedded.”  Most days, the daily death toll from Iraq is buried in a sidebar of my local newspaper several pages inside.  And, when we do stop to think about the deaths we read about, we know they are only part of the story.  The real numbers coming out of Iraq reveal a level of violence and destruction that is, for most of us, too daunting, too numbing to comprehend.


The Mother’s Day Project, in making the losses of war personal, changes forever the sense of disengagement that the Bush Administration wishes us to feel.  Yeah, we can spend a couple of hours shopping at the mall as this administration wishes us to do, or, we can take an hour or two to forge a personal connection with someone who died in Iraq and, in doing so, never be able to look at those war statistics in the same detached way again.


That’s not a protest of the Iraq War.  It’s the birth of a revolution. 



  AuntieAnn wrote @

Ah, you’re so right, I pay much closer attention to those daily news items now. I wonder about the daughters and sons that are reported as casualties, and about the Iraqi daughters and sons who are casualties but so often are not reported here.

  Lissa in Kansas City wrote @

I feel honored that my daughter sent me your message for Mothers Day. Ah, peace, a worthy cause for a mother to take up. Mothers thinking of other mothers, wishing them well and sending sweet love to each other is a powerful message and gift. I hold you in my heart dear mothers. Let us join together for our sisters in Iraq. Oh, please know that we are thinking of you this day and wraping you in safety and comfort. Our love is with you. Peace on earth.

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