At the request of the general Relief Society (Annie Wells Cannon was on its board), this letter was read in the meetings of ward Relief Societies in November, 1935.
Salt Lake City, Utah.
October 31, 1935.
National Commander Ray Murphy
Ida Grove, Iowa
In behalf of the great unorganized group – The Mothers of America – let me appeal to you, and through you to the ex-servicemen of the World War, and those who take the initiative in the celebration of Armistice Day, November 11, for a change in the method of the celebration.
Armistice means a cessation of hostilities, and all who recall November 11, 1918, know the joy and exultant thankfulness for that hour.
Could we not now signify on that day the glories of a peaceful world, portraying progress, industry, education, art, music, the drama, the dance, bands of children and the lovely, happy things of life, instead of parades of military, with all the implements of destruction, and things that scar the face of the earth and wipe out civilization? This is not the plea of a pacifist. Three sons of mine were in the World War, and the blood of Revolutionary patriots is in my veins.
I stand always for adequate defense, and am loyal to the last day of my life to my country’s call, but with you who passed through the horrors of the World War I know the suffering and the sorrows of those who went, and of the loved ones who remained at home. Because of that, because of a world now trembling on the brink of another war, would it not be wiser to unite every effort to promote love, not hate, in the hearts of men and just as fearlessly take up “arms for peace” as in 1917 we took up arms for war, that the flower of our land may not be sacrificed again in vain.
The earth in its loveliness is ours. Let us train our minds and hearts to keep it free from the scars of war.
Mr. Commander, if you heed this appeal you will have the gratitude and blessing of the Mothers of America.
ANNIE WELLS CANNON