Clarissa Harlowe Barton: A Hero Or Role Model

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As humans we all have aspirations and most often we look up to individuals that have set that very golden path that we strive to follow. For some people it may not be an individual but rather the actions and efforts put forth by an entire organization or group. Regardless of size or number these individuals behind those actions are better defined as heroes or role models. Most often when thinking of heroes what may come to mind might be a superhero, Superman swooping in to save the day or the Avengers making a daring rescue saving the world. Looking beyond the films and stories, heroes and role models are so much more, they are real everyday people, outreach organizations, moms, dads, an endless list of possibilities and are unique from person…show more content…
Without their vision and action the very foundation of an organization would be just a thought. In 1881, Clarissa Harlowe Barton, Clara, made her vision of helping others a reality, founding the American Red Cross. Her calling for helping others started during the Civil War. Seeing first hand the chaos, Clara realized the immediate need for providing personal assistance to men in uniform. According to the American Red Cross, Clara wanted to bring aid to the wounded, hungry, and those lacking simple necessities such as bedding and clothing other than what they had on their backs (“Founder Clara Barton”). Her volunteer services started with providing care to only one infantry, the Sixth Massachusetts Infantry, but that was only the beginning. She wanted her work to be so much more, giving more than just supplies, by also providing personal support to those men that were seeking it in a time of distress. Clara no longer wanted to be hours or even days away from a fight when she knew the real help was needed on the frontline and not just in the aftermath. These men needed aid on the battlefield, and after pressing government and army leaders, it was granted. Barton finally brought her volunteer services and medical supplies to the battle zone and field hospitals crying for help earning her the nickname, “Angel of the Battlefield ”. Her services to the soldiers during the Civil War were…show more content…
Although as Americans we like to believe that everything begins here on American soil the true foundation of the Red Cross began in Switzerland, founded internationally by Henry Dunant. According to the American Red Cross, Dunant called for, “ international agreements to protect the sick and wounded during wartime without respect to nationality and for the formation of national societies to give aid voluntarily on a neutral basis” (“Founder”). Soon after a treaty was passed, the Geneva Treaty or the Red Cross Treaty, putting Dunant’s vision to action. Once returning home with her knew found experience in Europe, Clara wore the symbol of the Red Cross, and with a mission to bring it to the United States. After presenting the Geneva Treaty to several presidents the Americans were finally on board in 1882. Fast forwarding to 2007, the most recent version of the charter restates the traditional purposes of the organization, “include giving relief to and serving as a medium of communication between members of the American armed forces and their families and providing national and international disaster relief and mitigation” (“Founder”). With Barton as its leader and after she stepped down, the American Red Cross was and is still largely devoted to providing disaster relief services on all scales, whether it be internationally, nationally or locally. Lets take a look

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