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The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic; the only woman who can say they set 18 national flying records in a time span of 15 years. ("Earhart, Amelia.") This accomplished woman was named Amelia Earhart. She was your typical small town, poor American girl. Amelia Earhart was born in Kansas on July 24, 1897 and died on July 2, 1937. Earhart was a tomboy during her childhood and was always one to lead the neighborhood children's games. Family life started to crumble after her grandparents died and her dad became an alcoholic. As her dad tried to keep the family afloat, they lived in a series of low-rent homes throughout the Midwest, ending her parents' divorce. (Cochrane) To be a hero, you must be brave enough to test the limits and do things that no one has done before. Amelia dared to be different and eventually became the face of women's rights. A hero is determined to accomplish his or her goal no matter what anyone says. Determination comes from within, and Amelia was born with a drive to fly. "During Christmas vacation in 1917, she went to visit her sister in Toronto. One day, at an aviation expo, a pilot flew his plane near her. Later, she said, "I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it swished by." (Szalay) Amelia Earhart is a hero because of her determination towards the art and joy of flying and her bravery to set records and make discoveries through air travel that no man (much less women) dared to do.
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Amelia always possessed determination, which was one of her key characteristics that made her a hero. Even when she was a child, she had a very strong interest in flying. She worked long and hard hours; not only support her family, but to by a plane of her own and lessons to fly it. ("Earhart, Amelia") "She attended an air show and paid $10 to ride on a plane. She fell in love with the feeling of flying and signed up immediately for lessons. To fund her lessons, Earhart drove a sand and gravel truck 7 days a week. After just two and a half hours of instruction, Earhart decided to buy herself a plane."(Earhart, Amelia.") Amelia had a drive to pursue her dreams once she had at love at first flight experience. She was determined to spend more time in the air and decided she would by a plane for herself. With that plane, "Earhart began setting flying records almost as soon as she took flight." ("Earhart, Amelia") Determination cannot be struck upon someone; one has to be born with it. Amelia tuned into her passion and drive for flying and took flight with it. As Amelia grew, she never gave up on her passion no matter what any man had to say. "'By the time I had got two or three hundred feet off the ground, I knew I had to fly.' Although Earhart's convictions were strong, challenging, prejudicial, and financial obstacles awaited her, but the former tomboy was no stranger to disapproval or doubt."(Pak) Amelia was constantly torn down and frowned upon. Eventually, the world tuned into to not only her flying skills, but also her tough, lovable personality. "Congress awarded her the Distinguished Flying Cross-the first ever given to a woman. At the ceremony, Vice President Charles Curtis praised her courage, saying she displayed 'heroic courage and skill as a navigator at the risk of her life. Earhart felt the flight proved that men and women were equal in jobs requiring intelligence, coordination, speed, coolness, and willpower.'"(Pak) Throughout the hard times, Amelia never lost her passion to fly. It seemed as if when people tore her down, she brought herself back up. Some may say that Amelia should not be considered a hero because she had a talent, but, Amelia is much deeper than just a female pilot. She kept her determination and her passion for flying alive through struggling times; and that is what made her a hero.
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Another characteristic that makes Amelia Earhart a hero was her bravery. She was not only brave in the sense of flying uncharted, dangerous air; but also her bravery to defy women's rights. Amelia was a simple, young, woman on the outside, with a daring passion on the inside of her. When Amelia got the opportunity to fly across the Atlantic (as a passenger), she did not hesitate to take it. "Their landmark flight made headlines worldwide because three pilots had died within the year trying to be that first women to fly across the Atlantic. Years later, she worked on secret plans for Earhart to become the first woman and the second person to fly solo the Atlantic." (Pak) Earhart was very grateful of her opportunity, but once she landed she never took her mind off flying solo. Her bravery made her world-renowned as she prepared her solo flight. "Earhart made a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. A few hours into the trip, Earhart ran into a violent electrical storm. Ice collected on the wings, and the plane went into a tailspin, falling 3,000 feet before regaining stability. The pilot's relief was short-lived, as the engine caught fire... Her flight won her fame throughout Europe, and when she returned to New York, she was greeted with a parade."("Earhart, Amelia.") Not only was Amelia brave to defy the image of a women, she also flew solo across the Atlantic, and stayed calm in times of emergencies. Earhart quickly became a celebrity for her hard work and bravery. Americas sweetheart found herself "instantly considered a spokesperson for women aviators" (Earhart, Amelia) Everyone admired Amelia not only for her flying skills, but also for her adventurous heart. (Earhart, Amelia) Earhart knew the dangerous risks of flying, but it never stopped her. "Earhart was eager to put her energy into setting new records in aviation, including speed, altitude, and most distance. Her marriage to George Putnam in 1931 did not halt her plans. Instead, he undoubtedly encouraged her to reach her goals as he continued to manage her career. In May of the next year, she set a new record as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic."(Stevenson) Amelia's Marriage did not stop her from focusing on her brave trip that would fulfill her goal. No matter what the challenge, Amelia had the mental strength and courage to accomplish.
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Amelia Mary Earhart is a hero because of her determination and bravery. She set close to 20 records of air flight in a time span of 15 years. What other women can say that? Although one thing I haven't mentioned is the end of Earhart's career. Amelia made great accomplishments as she flew around the world. On a hot day in July, Amelia and her co-captain Noonan took off across the pacific, never to be seen again. " She intended to land and refuel on tiny Howland Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Several hours later, the Coast Guard cutter Itasca, anchored off Howland Island, heard a radio message from Earhart that she was lost and running low on fuel. Neither the plane nor its pilot and navigator were ever found." (Mergen) Amelia is often recognized because of her disappearance, but, I believe she should be recognized for her heroines and inspiring life story. Amelia Earhart inspires me to be more courageous and to really try for my goals. Even in her final days, she was still brave and passionate about flying. Though the story of Amelia's death is a tragic one, at least she died doing what she loved. " Earhart made one final flight plan, although she did not know it would be her last. Her goal was to fly around the world at or near the equator, something no one had ever attempted." ("Earhart, Amelia.") Amelia was brave, passionate, determined, and driven. She was brave enough to break the common image of a pilot, so passionate about her talent, determined to accomplish her goals and test the limits, and driven to be the best she could be. Amelia Earhart was and will forever be a hero.
Mergen, Bernard, and Mergen Bernard. "Amelia Earhart." Great Lives From History: The Twentieth Century (2008): 1.Biography Reference Center. Web. 2 May 2014.
Cochrane, Dorothy S. "Amelia Mary Earhart." American National Biography (2010): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 4 May 2014.
Pak, Eudie, Leanne French, and Laura Grimm. "Amelia Earhart." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2014. Web. 04 May 2014
"Earhart, Amelia." UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 3. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 475-478. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 8 May 2014.
Szalay, Jessie. "Amelia Earhart: Biography & Facts About Disappearance."LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 06 May 2013. Web. 05 May 2014.
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Last edited 5/22/2014 12:00:00 AM