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Health Heroes

Edith Cavell

by Shana from San Diego

Edith Cavell (https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTkamkPBKI_DnJC4yVcJwDkGw2s7hQi8eJhTPrzWdtQFwVu)
Edith Cavell (https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTkamkPBKI_DnJC4yVcJwDkGw2s7hQi8eJhTPrzWdtQFwVu)

"Someday, somehow, I am going to do something useful, something for people. They are, most of them, so helpless, so hurt and so unhappy" (Edith Cavell). Edith Cavell was a person who knew what she wanted to do with her life; she wanted to help other people by making changes in their lives. Edith Cavell, a hard-working nurse working in Belgium, was born on December 4th, 1865 in Swardston. She was known for saving over 200 Allied soldiers in World War 1 by being completely truthful and self-sacrificing. She told the truth even if it meant her life was taken away; in her eyes, it was worth the effort to save all of those people in need. Edith Cavell was taught in Kensington, visited Austria, then Bavaria where she was inspired to make her own hospital. She then moved to Brussels to help aid the Allied soldiers. Lastly, she was executed in the Tir National shooting range in Schaerbeek. During the First World War in 1914 Edith Cavell moved to Belgium. At that time, the Germans invaded Belgium, so Brussels was under an exceeding amount of military rule. She was executed on October 12th, 1915 and became a national heroine. A hero must possess: bravery, doing what no other person would usually do, righteousness, not doing a deed for fame or money, and self-sacrificing, putting others before themselves. Edith Cavell is a deserving hero, not only because she was brave and truthful, but because she was self-sacrificing.

Edith Cavell showed bravery in her life by being so passionate in saving lives; she did deeds few other nurses would do. "The occupying German army threatened strict punishments for anyone who was found to be aiding and abetting the enemy'. Yet, despite the military rule, Miss Cavell continued to help" (Pettinger, Tejvan). Cavell knew she could be executed for saving the soldiers; instead of abandoning the helpless them, she aided them anyways. She bravely did what benefited the wounded people and her as a person. In this article, Unger informs us that, "Gradually, though, the evidence against Edith mounted. Colleagues urged her to escape while she could, but she refused." (Abraham Unger, M.D.) She knew what was coming and insisted on staying despite the consequences. Cavell knew it was her duty to stay in Brussels to nurse these men back to health and help them go to where they needed to go. Instead of staying where she knew she would be safe she bravely fought for what she thought was right without the blink of an eye.

 (http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/66157000/jpg ())
(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/66157000/jpg ())

Edith showed bravery, truthfulness, and self-sacrificing in her life, which inspires other people to be like her and do the right thing. Edith Cavell is a hero and an inspiration to people around the globe for doing the right thing by helping allied soldiers despite the law against it. Edith Cavell inspires me to be a better person by showing me that one person could make such a huge change. She inspires nurses to get a better education in what they are doing and they could, like her, make a positive guidance upon others' lives. Edith Cavell accomplished tasks no other nurse would do in that time; she exceeded in learning everything there was to know about nursing soldiers back to a healthy stage and sacrificed herself to save strangers.

Edith Cavell's memorial statue (http://www.urban75.org/london/images/edith-cavell-10.jpg)
Edith Cavell's memorial statue (http://www.urban75.org/london/images/edith-cavell-10.jpg)

Edith Cavell was raised to not ever tell a lie no matter what was going to happen. Even for her life, she was proud of what she did and told the plain truth. Tevjan  informs the readers that: "In mid 1915, nurse Edith Cavell came under suspicion for helping Allied servicemen to escape; this was not helped by her outspoken views on her perceived injustice of the occupation" (Pettinger, Tejvan). In 1915, Edith Cavell, was accused by the Germans of helping servicemen. Being honest would not help to avoid being executed, but she didn't care. She was so honest that she told the Germans everything. Honesty did not help her to live, but to be a righteous person that made her the person we see her as today. In this article, Cunningham writes: "But Edith's devotion to the truth condemned her she would not lie to save her life. She openly admitted that she had helped as many as 200 men to escape, who she knew they could then be able to fight the Germans again, and that some of them had written letters of thanks for her help "(Donna Cunningham). Cavell saved all of those men and she was proud. Instead of lying and saying she didn't do the things she did, she fully confessed to breaking the military law to assist the soldiers. Edith Cavell never, and would not ever, lie no matter what the circumstances; she, instead of telling a lie, told the complete truth costing her life.

Edith Cavell sacrificed herself to help other people more desperate for help than she. Cunningham informs her readers in her article that: "There were posters all over Brussels warning that 'Any male or female who hides an English or French soldier in his house shall be severely punished.' In spite of this warning, there were soon successful efforts to hide soldiers who were wounded or separated from their units, then given refuge and helped to escape to safety. In Edith Cavell's hospital, wounded allied soldiers were tended and then helped to escape. Soon Edith was persuaded to make room for some of the unfortunates who were not wounded but merely fleeing the Germans" (Donna Cunningham). She helped these strangers, not because they were injured, but because they needed to get away. She worked effectively and diligently for these people, with nothing in return except a thank you letter from the survivors. Another essential point made by Tevjan says, "Miss Cavell decided to aid the British servicemen, hiding them in the hospital and safe houses around Belgium. From these safe houses, some 200 British servicemen were able to escape to neutral Holland" (Pettinger, Tejvan). Edith made room in her hospital and in her heart to rescue others in need. She made an effort to do the right thing so other people would not have to do what she went through. Two hundred more men could have died if she didn't make the choice to help and sacrifice herself; Edith Cavell put others before herself. She knew what would happen, but she helped them anyways, not in fear that she could potentially die in the process.

Page created on 5/23/2013 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/23/2013 12:00:00 AM

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