Julia Ward Howe is best known for writing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, but she was also an advocate of world peace. She had been saddened by the deaths and injuries caused by the U.S. Civil War.

In 1870, as the Franco-Russian War broke out, she decided to rally mothers worldwide to stop all wars and work for peace. She wrote her Mother's Day Proclamation that year, which resulted in many cities declaring a Mother's Day of Peace.

Maine Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace, Curtis Memorial Library - Brunswick
"Peace is not just the absence of war. Peace is an active verb, not a passive verb. Diplomacy is difficult, particularly across cultures and national boundaries. Conflict resolution is an art and a technique that does not come naturally to most people. Domestic violence must be confronted directly, in our courts and in our schools. Bullying must be dealt with as the violent and anti-social behavior that it is.

My part of this program is to talk to you about how electoral politics fits into all this..."

Capping off a weekend of peace-related activities, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright of Dixmont joined hundreds of other Maine peace activists Sunday at Portland High School for a town hall meeting on the Iraq War hosted by First District Congressman Tom Allen. At the session, Rep. Allen was urged to take a stronger stand against the Iraq war, to support a resolution calling for a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and to support the establishment of a cabinet level Department of Peace.