June 24, 2024

165 years since the Battle of Solferino

This year we mark the 165th anniversary of the Battle of Solferino, which took place on June 24, 1859, in northern Italy, where the armies of France and Austria fought a 16-hour battle involving 320,000 soldiers and resulting in 40,000 wounded and dead on the battlefield.

The Battle of Solferino is important to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It reminds us of our beginnings, of our humanitarian mission. It is important because the founding principles of our organization were established. Anry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, who for business reasons, witnessed the terrible scene after the battle, gathered the people of a nearby village and spent three days providing assistance to the wounded. In order not to go unnoticed what he experienced, he wrote the book “A Memory of Solferino”.

To commemorate the important day, every year thousands of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers and staff from around the world gather in Solferino, Italy, to celebrate the history of our movement. This year, two representatives from our national society participated in Fiaccolata.

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