Queen Letizia honoured the World Day of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Zaragoza on Tuesday. The event celebrates the work of Red Cross staff and volunteers and their life-saving work around the world.
The Queen was received at Auditorio Palacio de Congresos of Zaragoza by the President of the Government of Aragon, Javier Lambán, and the Minister of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare, Maria Luisa Carcedo.
After meeting with Spanish Red Cross volunteers, Queen Letizia headed to the auditorium for a programme including a poetry reading by Amanda Granda and a screening of a video, “Por Humanidad.”
Organisations including Global System Mobile Association, Coordinator of Centers and Services for the homeless of Zaragoza, and the Mexican Red Cross were honoured with medals for distinguished service. Individuals receiving gold medals were photographer and journalist Gervasio Sánchez, violinist Ara Malikian, and cultural manager Inés Enciso “for her effort, solidarity and commitment to humanity.”
Queen Letizia delivered a speech praising the award winners and the work of the Red Cross, saying “… it is a matter of attending, helping, listening, solving, giving tools to move forward, building bridges, sharing, alleviating suffering, joining the other to walk. It’s about adding and facing adversities from each individual responsibility and with the best attitude, it’s about being human, and that’s what the Red Cross and the Red Crescent know very well … ”
The Red Cross Day programme ended with a violin performance by one of the day’s medalists, Ara Malikian.
May 8 marks the birthday of the founder of The Red Cross and Red Crescent, Swiss philanthropist and businessman Henry Dunant. After helping wounded soldiers at the battle of Solferino in 1859, Dunant lobbied political leaders that more action must be taken to help war victims. His idea to create national societies to help military medical services turned into what we know as the Red Cross today.