If you haven’t guess yet who Clara Barton is, and why today were celebrating her. On May 21st 1881, the American branch of the Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton on that day.
Clarissa Harlowe Barton, which is her full name, is one of the most honored women in American history. She began teaching school at a time when most teachers were men and she was among the first women to gain employment in the federal government, which wasn’t an easy task in the 1800’s.
Barton risked her life to bring supplies and support to soldiers in the field during the Civil War. At age 60, she founded the American Red Cross in 1881 and led it for the next 23 years.
Her intense devotion to serving others resulted in appreciating other in their time of need, and have been an historical example for us to look back on, to push on with our life, in having empathy for others.
How did the symbol of Red Cross come about?
When Clara Barton visited Europe in search of rest in 1869, she was introduced to a wider field of service through the Red Cross in Geneva.
A more immediate call to action occurred in 1870 with the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. Though not yet allied to the Red Cross, Barton knew the needs of victims of battle and went to the war zone with volunteers of the International Red Cross. To protect herself with the newly accepted international symbol of the Red Cross (the reverse of the Swiss national flag which bears a white cross on a red field), was fashioned by Clara the opposite direction a red cross bearing on a white background.
Clara Barton published several books about the beginnings of the American Red Cross and the global Red Cross network. She also wrote The Story of My Childhood, intended as one of a series of short autobiographies detailing aspects of her life which she never completed. She died on April 12, 1912, at her home in Glen Echo, Maryland, and was buried in the Barton family cemetery plot in Oxford, Massachusetts.
In lieu of today’s story, today, the supporters, volunteers and employees of the American Red Cross provide compassionate care in five critical areas:
• People affected by disasters in America
• Support for members of the military and their families
• Blood collection, processing and distribution
• Health and safety education and training
• International relief and development
Thanks to Clara Barton, without her efforts there would be no Red Cross Organization available to us.
Written and Designed by JD Mitchell