Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget

It is really hard to explain war and death to a pair of 3 year olds who've experience neither. I'm very glad that their lives have not been directly touched by either. But we have Remembrance Day (Veteran's day in the USA) for a reason. We need to remember and honor those who fought for us and because those who don't remember history, learn from it, are doomed to repeat.

Their first couple of years, when they were in strollers and portable, I took them to the services at the closest War Memorial. But they don't have it in them right now to sit through a service and I don't want to disrupt others. So I looked for ways to help them learn and still honor the Day.

They took a great interest in the poppies everyone was wearing, so I started there. I found this book at the library and we read it a few times and talked about it. I tried to explain war in terms 3 year olds could understand. We talked in terms of bullies and groups standing up to them and of course death and honor.

Then we did a craft. I cut squares in contact paper and put a black circle in the middle. Then the boys cut out lots of tiny bits of red tissue paper and put on the contact paper. I put down another piece of contact paper and cut the shape out. We talked about poppies and their meaning while we worked.

I hung one on our door and one in the window. And we talked some more about them.

Today, November 11, we managed, barely a moment of silence at 11:11.

Next year, I will explain more and maybe try to get to a legion in advance of the day to talk to some vets. And we'll read some more and talk some more. Our kids are the future. They will be the ones who work towards peace or go to war. The more we can share now and teach them about the past, the more tools they will have to make the right choices. Lest we forget......

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