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22 pages (2007/1881); 161KB downloadWOWIO Books
; ISBN: WOWIO-00251
In this speech Clara Barton, organizer of the American Red Cross, details how she became involved with the Red Cross and how she spent many years working to get the United States to sign the 1864 Convention of Geneva that established guidelines for care of the sick and wounded of war under protection of a white flag bearing a red cross. Barton expanded the activity of the Red Cross beyond aid to war victims to include organized support for natural catastrophes:
"Plagues, cholera, fires, flood, famine, all bear upon us with terrible force. Like war these events are entirely out of the common course of woes and necessities. Like death they are sure to come in some form and at some time, and like it no mortal knows where, how or when. What have we in readiness to meet these emergencies save the good heart of our people and their impulsive, generous gifts? Certainly no organized system for collection, reception nor distribution; no agents, nurses nor material, and, worst of all, no funds; nowhere any resources in reserve for use in such an hour of peril and national woe; every movement crude, confused and unsystematized, every thing as unprepared as if we had never known a calamity before and had no reason to expect one again. Meanwhile the suffering victims wait!"