We now think of Mother's Day as an occasion to celebrate our moms, but this wasn't always the case. Originally, it was a somber day to consider the losses mothers suffered after witnessing the death and destruction of their sons and homes to war.

When first "proclaimed" by social activist Julia Ward Howe in the aftermath of the Civil War, Mother's Day was intended to be an occasion when mothers -- and women everywhere -- would rise up and demand an end to senseless hostilities.

Howe, herself, was not one to be pampered. She struggled for women's sufferage, for an end to slavery and racism, and foremost for an end to hatred and war.

Her most famous literary offerings seem superficially contradictory: "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the "Mother's Day Proclamation" might seem at odds unless you see them in the contextual light of the righteous indignation a mother whose war against war was anything but violent and anything but passive.

In this light, it might be well for us to take another look at the way we engage the "war" on "terrorism." Clearly, the raw and unbridled aggressive posture of the current American administration is doing nothing to make our country safer or terrorism less of a threat.

Quite the contrary.

If civil libertarians and social activists of the 19th century could see us now!

In some ways we've come so far, but on the most basic level we're haven't progressed an inch.