The Gentleman in White

By: Ameerah

In 1859, Italy and France were at war with Austria, and Henry Dunant, a young Swiss gentleman, came upon one of their battlefields. For the first time in his life, Dunant saw how heartless war would be. Around him were suffering men untended and left to die where they fell.

Henry Dunant went to work at once. Helped by several peasant women, he formed an ambulance service and set up headquarters in a little church. He treated the wounds of Frenchmen, Italians and Austrians alike. When he was asked why he did so, his answer showed a spirit of humanity that was not common in those days. "We are all brothers. A wounded enemy is an enemy no longer. "

With his band of assistants, Dunant helped to save many lives. The "gentleman in white" (as Dunant was called because he wore a white suit) was looked upon by hundreds of wounded men as little short of an angel When Dunant returned, he could not forget the needless suffering oh the battlefield. The more he thought of it, the Patek Philippe Replica more he felt that something must be done. He ended his book with the following question—would it not be possible, in time of peace and quiet, to form relief societies to arrange for the care of the wounded in wartime by zealous,... volunteers?

He thought of a great organization that should be planned to take in many nations. It would do its work with the approval of all countries. And it must operate under a sign that all would know: its symbol would be a red cross against a white Background.

One man alone could hardly make this vision come true. But Henry Dunant resolved to do what he could. First of all he wrote he public see the need for this great organization. In the book he included a truthful account of what he had seen on the battlefield. The consequence was that readers were shocked by what he described.

A wealthy lawyer, one of Dunant's countrymen, was the first to act. He chose Dunant and four others to form the Committee of five, which was to Breitling Replica look into the idea of an international society. After the investigation, all the nations of Europe were invited to a meeting in Geneva on October 26,1863, at which it was decided a relief society should be formed in each country. Then the Geneva Convention was made the following year. The nations that signed the Geneva Convention chose the red cross as the symbol for the international organization.

Until his death in 1910, Dunant was always ready to look for a noble cause. And when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time in 1901, the honor went to Dunant. No man has deserved it more than the founder of the Red Cross.

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