There aren’t many organizations that over time have helped more people than the Red Cross. The Geneva Convention of 1864 adopted rules for the care of wounded with 12 nations meeting in Geneva. The agreement called for the ability to care for the sick and wounded in times of war and provided for the neutrality of medical personnel. It also proposed the use of an international emblem to mark medical personnel and supplies. In honor of Dunant’s nationality, a red cross on a white background–the Swiss flag in reverse–was chosen. In 1901, Dunant was awarded the very first Nobel Peace Prize. In 1881, American humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons founded the American National Red Cross, an organization designed to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters connecting with the International Red Cross.
Think about the good this organization has done since 1864. We remember in recent years how victims of hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and other disasters have benefitted from the action of committed individuals. The “cross” invades our space wherever we look. It is a symbol of sacrifice and healing. Believer and agnostic alike agree that the work of the Red Cross has saved countless lives by their actions of caring. Try to remember what they stand for today. Make a donation if you can. Say a prayer of thanks for the dedicated men and women of the Red Cross. Most of all remember what the cross means for all of humanity.
“Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim. Let all the world, adore, his sacred name.” Refrain: George William Kitchin, 1916; alt. Words © 1992 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.