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The Red Cross is one of the most recognized symbols in the world. Across the globe, people of all ages, nationalities, and religions recognize the Red Cross – along with the Red Crescent and Red Crystal – as a symbol of hope, standing for and ensuring the protection of human life and health.

The Red Cross symbol is the reverse of the Swiss flag, in honor of Henri Dunant, the Swiss founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The symbol can be used in two different ways – as a protective marker on vehicles and buildings working in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, and as an organizational logo on people, vehicles, buildings, etc. associated with International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement organizations. In either case, the symbol is widely recognized and respected.

Thanks to my five-year-old son, Will, I realized yesterday just how widely the Red Cross symbol is recognized. Will I were building castles and space ships and forts out of blocks, and as usual, I became engrossed in my own castle (oops) instead of paying attention to what Will was working on. After a few minutes he shook me out of my design haze to show me what he’d just finished:

Can you see it? It took me a minute – the random letters threw me off – but I eventually realized that he’d built a Red Cross out of blocks. (Will wanted me to share with you that had we had the right combination of letters in the color red, he would have written out “red” somewhere in his Red Cross instead of using miscellaneous letters.)

In keeping with the theme, we decided to build a second Red Cross, this one out of Legos. After completing the structure we set up it up on the table to take a picture of it, but just as I was about to start snapping Will stopped me. He dug through the Legos until he found what he was looking for – Lego versions of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Alien – and then he set the action figures up in front of the Red Cross.

“What are your guys doing, Will?” I asked.

“They’re waiting for help,” he replied.

At five, he recognizes exactly what the Red Cross is all about.