The American Red Cross Overseas Association (ARCOA) honored one of their own, the late Carolyn Chapin, during its 50th memorial ceremony at national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Miss Chapin died in 1944 while serving with the Red Cross in northern Africa (see accompanying story). Her remains were identified earlier this year. With the assistance of the U.S. State Department, the Red Cross helped return her remains to Woodbury, Connecticut for burial this summer. A special Red Cross grave marker was accepted by Carolyn’s niece and nephew, Lucinda Merrill and Bruce Chapin.
The ARCOA memorial ceremony is held every year to pay tribute to Red Crossers who have served overseas. Also honored are those who lost their lives while serving with the Red Cross. Nearly 500 Red Cross employees and volunteers died in service during wars in the 20th century, including 70 men and 330 women during World War I.
In attendance were ARCOA members, including several who served during WWII. ARCOA President Anita Wright presided over the ceremony. Red Cross Humanitarian Services President Jerry DeFrancisco welcomed those in attendance. James Thomas and the Red Cross Chorus performed. The Armed Forces Color Guard, Military District of Washington, retired the Colors, and SSGT Michael Warnick of the President’s U.S. Marine Band sounded Taps.
ARCOA was founded in 1949 in Cleveland, Ohio, by World War II overseas Red Cross workers. Members include men and women who have served with the Red Cross overseas, during war and peacetime, in locations around the world.
Red Cross employees and volunteers have been serving overseas since 1892 when founder Clara Barton sent the first field worker, Dr. Julian Hubbell, to supervise the relief operation for the Russian famine.
Today, there are 170 Red Crossers serving overseas, everywhere from Afghanistan to Tanzania. Our staff overseas work on military installations and alongside our troops in the Middle East, providing emergency communications between service members and their families back home. They respond to international disasters, and educate people on disease prevention and disaster preparedness.