There are some names that instantly strike a chord with us. Oprah Winfrey is one. She’s a woman who has accomplished many things, and acts as a role model for many people. But there are other women who have also accomplished great deeds, though they are further back in history. These women have names we dimly remember and actions we can’t always recall. But, if we were to remember them, would serve as other strong examples of the bravery of women.
Laura Ingersoll Secord is a name that is far more famous than the chocolate store that was named after her. Or, at least, it should be. Living in the American-occupied territory during the war of 1812, Laura Secord was a staunch supporter of the British Crown in Canada. One night, American soldiers forced their way into Laura’s home and ordered her to serve them dinner. With her injured husband watching, Laura did so. As the American soldiers ate and drank, they became careless. They gave away strategic battle plans. Aware that British troops were in danger, Laura Secord decided to warn them. Leaving at dawn, aware that if she was captured she risked death by firing squad, she travelled 32 kilometers (19 miles) to warn Lieutenant FitzGibbon of danger. She journeyed through bogs in incredible heat and did not arrive until dusk. Her deed saved many lives and proved a victory for British forces in Canada.
Harriet Tubman is another woman who took a heroic journey. In fact, she took many of them. Harriet Tubman was one of the most famous conductors of the Underground Railroad, helping slaves escape to freedom. Like Laura Secord, the risk if she was caught was great. She could be killed, beaten, or returned to the slavery she had once escaped from. Harriet Tubman took on more than 13 missions to rescue slaves, and assisted many members of her own family. Though she had physical injuries that affected her, including seizures and headaches, she never gave up – or allowed other people to do so. As a result, she was able to lead over 70 slaves to freedom.
Both Laura and Harriet had to travel long and far to reach their goals. They went to save the lives of others, risking their own safety along the way. Some may argue that Harriet Tubman was the far greater hero, as she underwent her journey multiple times, whereas Laura Secord only went on one courageous journey. But there is nothing to prove that Laura might not have risked her life again if the occasion arose.
The role models that exist today have accomplished many great things. But figures of the past can offer great advice too. If you truly believe in something, then you will accept hardships to protect it. If you believe slavery is wrong, you will help others escape from it. If you want to protect your nation, you will race to defend its soldiers. In a modern world with issues of racism, poverty and gender equality, looking to the deeds of Harriet Tubman and Laura Secord can give people some motivation to step up.