Domrémy, France

Dear Joan,

joan of arcThank you for saving Orleans. With this great action, you broke the siege the English had on France which later caused England realize how strong the French army was and end the 100-year war. Sadly, a peace treaty was not signed but the war did culminate in a peaceful manner. This, of course, was a tremendous feat for a young woman in France at the time, but did France repay you for this? No they did not. They sold you to England in the blink of an eye and did nothing to stop the way you were killed, but lets not dwell on the past.

Not only did you stop one of the leading armies at the time in its tracks, you also paved the way for an idea way ahead of your time–women’s rights. In the United States, it wasn’t until 1812 that the first women were recruited to be nurses in the Army, and 86 years later, during the Spanish-American War, that they were allowed to fight. You leaped over this obstacle without a second thought and became one of the greatest Army generals of all time. You pulled a failing regime that dared call itself the Army of France into order and together you broke the siege in nine days.

This was not the only type of prejudice you were forced to over come, people also thought you were out of your mind when you spoke of your visions, never the less you gained there trust and they listened to your plans and respected them. They laid their hope in you so deeply that your very presence inspired them to fight harder. Where every “rational” option hopelessly failed an illiterate 13-year-old girl claimed victory and lead an army to victory as well.

You have shown the world that nothing no matter the size or difficulty can stop us; we will always prevail if we try.

Thanks again,
Daniela Peña

When she’s not writing articles for MY-Say, you can find sixth grader Daniela Peña, Central Middle School, Anne Arundel County, playing volleyball, drawing, and reading.