Remembrance Day is here and like many Canadians, I proudly wear a poppy. This year my daughter asked, “What’s that flower for mommy?”
How do we tell our children about the enormity of Remembrance Day? How do I tell a four-year old that my two grandfathers fought in World War II and both returned with horrific memories of young people lost forever? Of the sacrifices that were made during wartime at home by the remaining women and men, and the sacrifices that continue to this day?
It gave me an idea. Let’s all think about one story to share with our children. There’s many reasons storytelling is so important to many cultures; it’s a way to pass on values and beliefs. Children love to hear stories, especially if it’s about someone they know or are related to. Maybe it’s about your grandfather or an uncle that served in wartime. Maybe it’s a story about how your home country was affected by war. Maybe it’s the more recent stories of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo who were both killed on home soil in 2014, and who both have grieving families. Sharing a story is one of many ways to remember. Stories help us put names and faces to events and in doing so, help give us someone to thank on Remembrance Day. That gratitude can come in many forms, from a face-to-face “thank you” to the silent memories of someone we have lost.
Tonight, I will tell my daughter about how her great-grandfather was trained to jump out of airplanes to help keep our country safe. He broke his leg during the fight, but he made it home safe and sound. Now today, and every year since, he remembers the friends he lost in the fight.
We hope that in remembering, we will work harder to prevent war. In remembering we can truly appreciate the country we live in and the relative peace we enjoy. Lest we forget.
What story will you share with your kids? Share them with us:
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