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Amelia Earhart

by Brittany from San Diego

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference” (Frost).
Aviator Amelia Earhart (http://www.asds.org/ClassProjects/8thAH_06/cristina/amelia.jpg)
Aviator Amelia Earhart (http://www.asds.org/ClassProjects/8thAH_06/cristina/amelia.jpg)

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference” (Frost). Amelia Earhart set her sights high. The notable woman had a dream and followed her heart, persevered, inspired, letting her take to the sky and soar with the birds.

Amelia Earhart in her plane (http://z.about.com/d/womenshistory/1/0/X/d/2/amelia_earhart_ca_1932a.jpg)
Amelia Earhart in her plane (http://z.about.com/d/womenshistory/1/0/X/d/2/amelia_earhart_ca_1932a.jpg)

Born to Edwin and Amy Earhart on July 24, 1897, Amelia Earhart had a desire for adventure. She was a women’s rights activist and a volunteer nurse, in addition to being a world renowned American aviator. Earhart received her flight lessons at Bert Kinner’s airfield on Long Beach Boulevard in Los Angeles and received her piloting license from the National Aeronautics Association on December 15, 1921. She married George Putnam in 1931, who became her husband as well as her publicist. Putnam associates Earhart as the dare-devil pilot who disappeared during a flight exploration over the Pacific Ocean. However, disappearing wasn’t the only thing she attained.

“ ‘ As soon as we left the ground,’ she said, ‘I knew I had to fly.”’ (Earhart quoted in Stong). Unlike the homebound women of her time, Amelia Earhart preferred to explore the world. During the 1920s she saw her first air show and took her first airplane ride (Stong). It was then that Earhart listened to her heart, coming to the astonishing realization that her passion lay away from the ground. “Earhart eventually was able to buy her own plane. However, she was unable to earn enough to continue what was an expensive hobby.” (Stong). Flying, no matter what decade one is in, costs a lot. Earning enough money is no walk in the park; so, like most other non-professional pilots, “Earhart had little time or money for flying, but she still took every opportunity she could find to pursue it” ("Earhart, Amelia (1897-1937)."UXL Biographies). She had a fiery passion for flying, always yearning to be up in the air.

The only things that stop someone from reaching their dreams are the obstacles they come across along the way. Everyone will face obstacles at one point in their life or another. For Amelia Earhart, the first obstacle came when she was a teenager. Her father worked for a railroad company that drastically influenced his life, changing him into an alcoholic before Amelia graduated high school (Stong). This was hard for the Earhart family, because from then on they could never count on her father’s support. “In 1924, when her parents separated again, she sold her plane and bought a car in which she drove her mother to Boston where her sister was teaching school” (Stong). Selling her plane tore Earhart in two, but she knew her responsibilities to her mother and vowed she wouldn’t stop flying. Earhart didn’t give up her passion for flying and set a new score in the field of aviation. She crossed the Atlantic Ocean, from Newfoundland to Wales, on June 18-19, 1928 (Stong). Flying with a group led by George Putnam, Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, but she never once touched the controls during this expedition. Furthermore, because she did not touch the controls, many people thought she was just a woman gaining fame for herself and her husband. “Resenting reports that she was largely a puppet figure created by her publicist husband and something less than a competent aviator, she piloted a tiny, single-engine Lockheed Electra from Newfoundland to Ireland” (Stong). By flying from Newfoundland to Ireland Earhart disproved the belief that she was a mediocre pilot and a marionette to Putnam. Earhart never quit; when something confounded her, she would find ways to go around it.

 (http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/conspiracy/earhart/earhart-electra.jpg)
(http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/conspiracy/earhart/earhart-electra.jpg)

Admiration cannot be given, but is earned. Once you admire someone they become an inspiration – through their actions and unique personalities. Earhart felt guilty about being famed for being the first woman to fly over the Atlantic even though she had not touched the controls. Therefore, on May 20, 1932 she flew solo over that same ocean that gave her all the original fame – taking off from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland. “Amelia Earhart was an American aircraft pilot who set numerous records, including being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic” (DISCovering Biography). Earhart’s accomplishments are admirable, but they may be seen simply as deeds. She is an inspiration, though, because she has a good heart and follows it. “In Toronto Amelia saw her first amputees, returning wounded from World War I,” deciding to do something about that Earhart, “became a volunteer nurse in a hospital for veterans where she worked until after the armistice of 1918” (Stong). UXL Biographies describes her as being drawn to challenges. “On July 2, 1937, 22 days before her 40th birthday and having already completed 22,000 miles of an attempt to circumnavigate the earth, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared over the Pacific somewhere between Lae, New Guinea, and Howland Island” (Stong). Earhart’s love of a good challenge led her to confront the danger of flying around the world. She disappeared doing the thing she loved, flying. Many times in life we stop listening to our heart, losing sight of what we want to achieve, and letting go of the dream that gave us the spirit to live year by year. Although she constantly faced challenges, both internal and external, Earhart never stopped pursuing her dream of flight following her heart, persevering, and inspiring.

Page created on 5/17/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/17/2010 12:00:00 AM

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