How might we prepare during the peace to offer help in times of war?

by | Origin Story

The exigencies of war have brought forth many a beautiful question. In 1859, a young Swiss Calvinist named Henry Dunant traveling in Italy came upon the aftermath of a bloody battle between the Austrian and French armies. On the battlefield some 40,000 men lay dead or wounded, and Dunant hastily organized the locals in binding wounds and feeding the injured. Upon his return home, Dunant wrote: “Would there not be some means, during a period of peace and calm, of forming relief societies whose object would be to have the wounded cared for in time of war by enthusiastic, devoted volunteers, fully qualified for the task?” And thus the Red Cross national relief societies were born. The subsequent idea of pooling the skills and resources of various Red Cross Societies to provide humanitarian assistance in peacetime, and not just during war, also was championed by Dunant.

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