Voices from Mother's Day DC 2009: Jenna Lennon, 19

Posted by CODEPINK Staff

Jenna Lennon, 19, of Chicago, and her mother Elizabeth joined us for our 24-hour vigil in Lafayette Park, their first CODEPINK event ever. They were both psyched and deeply passionate about our mission, and we were thrilled to have them! Jenna penned this beautiful, loving piece of her thoughts on the weekend for us. Enjoy!
“No more weepin’ and awailin,' no more weepin’ and awailin,' mothers get on board. This train is bound for glory, this train, mothers get on board…”

Mother’s Day has always been important to me since my mother has been an immensely powerful influence in my life. This year, however, Mother's Day struck me in new and profound ways when I found myself sewing pink squares and singing along with CODEPINK women in its Mother’s Day peace vigil. From the speakers who presented magnificent poems and stories to the singers and activists who brought forth gentle messages of hope and strength, the experience was both eye opening and inspiring.

While I realized more clearly how the wars and atrocities of this pained world strike harm and horror in countless lives each day, here, between our busily working fingers, was hope, bubbling up and weaving itself from tiny pieces until it became a banner quite capable of covering all of us in its love. It said eloquently: "We Will Not Raise Our Children To Kill Another Mother’s Child.” Hope’s light shone out of our knitted cozy -- it was bright pink and quite fuzzy.

Stitching and marching, discussing the difficulties of working for peace despite quite immense worldwide pain and enormous ignorance of many who feel as if most war settled down sometime after World War II,  I noticed a quiet resolve amongst my fellow weavers. Their presence in the sun-filled park showed a depth of tenderness and care, deeply beyond their own experiences or challenges. Their hearts were saying: “ I will not rest until the last bomb has ceased, until the last drop of blood has spilled over our dear earth. No, no matter the size of the weapon or threat, I will resolutely stand to prove that war is simply not the answer, cannot be the answer, and can never work as a way toward the true peace we are totally capable of achieving. I will not stop until real peace prevails.”

I suddenly realized that that’s what being a mother really means. Women are the only ones possessing the immensely magnificent ability to literally give life. While I am not a mother yet,  I felt honored to be part of such a strong and beautiful group. I joined because my mom suggested we do this because we were interested in doing something more significant for Mother’s Day than the usual Hallmark card and chocolate. This was a way to honor the real Mother’s Day, a day in which peace was supposed to be recognized as its creator abolitionist Julia Ward Howe outlined so beautifully so very many years ago.

Despite some tangles with the police who seemed threatened by the roses and love pouring from us, I was able to clearly and almost easily imagine what our world will look like when Peace is given its full place, when Mother’s Day will receive its full glory and recognition. I realized peace is not simply the absence of war, but a loving force as powerful as my mother, who quietly and resolutely loves her children, every single day. The CODEPINK action left me with a sense of a peace that is everlasting, and, as cheesy as it sounds, able to win out over all war that comes from an absence of the deep and abiding mother’s love that surrounds us all every day, whenever we choose to notice it.

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