Lest We Forget - Remembrance Day

November 11 - Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is observed in Canada (and other Commonwealth nations, which include 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire) on November 11. It carries much of the same meaning as America’s Veterans Day. Celebrated since the end of WWI, Remembrance Day actually marks Armistice Day — the day on which the hostilities between the Allies and Germany ceased on the Western Front.

Each year we wear our poppies, children in classrooms recite “In Flanders Fields” while others attend Remembrance Day ceremonies where they observe a moment of silence on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. As adults we understand the significance of November 11th but we also have a duty to educate our children on the meaning of Remembrance Day. And this is why we have created this page to help do just that! 

Teaching children about this historically significant day is important and we understand that it can be difficult to discuss the heaviness of it, so here are a few age appropriate ways we have gathered so that you can do just that:

  • The best thing to do at the forefront is to address the subject with compassion and pride. Approach is everything when it comes to dealing with heavy subjects and you as a parent know your child the best - so you do and share whatever you feel is appropriate!
  • Simplicity is key (and less work for you!) so start small. Making a poppy craft, finger painting or reading a book about the poppy is great for younger children, while talking about war, sacrifice and honoring those who have and continue to serve can come via discussions at the dinner table or by visiting your local legion.
  • Ask children about peace and what it means to them.
  • Discuss your family history! Did you have family members that served in the war or are currently enrolled in the military?  If possible, ask if they are willing to share stories with your children. If they have passed away, sharing their stories with your children.
  • Wearing a poppy is a great opportunity to spark conversation about its significance and instill pride and love of country in our children. 
  • Watching documentaries or videos can help provide further information on the history and significance of Remembrance Day.

Remembrance Day is significant globally; it is important to teach children its importance and keep alive the memories of the sacrifices made by soldiers in conflict.

Lest We Forget

 

*TIP: you can use these resources to create an entire day of curricula with your children (or their homeschool co-op)!

Find out how the poppy became a symbol of remembrance HERE.

Learn about the life of one of the soldiers who never came home HERE.

Download the Royal Canadian Legion's teaching guide HERE.

Find your local legion HERE.

 

Did you know?!

In the fall of 1945, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented the leaders in Ottawa, Canada with 100,000 tulip bulbs in appreciation for the safe haven that Holland's exiled royal family received during World War II. This was done in recognition of the significant role Canadian troops had in liberating the Netherlands! HERE is a tulip handprint craft to share with your kids while also teaching them of the importance of Remembrance Day!

 

Poems:

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

    That mark our place; and in the sky

    The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

        In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

    The torch; be yours to hold it high.

    If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

        In Flanders fields.

Poppy Poppy

Poppy, poppy, what do you say?

Wear me on Remembrance Day.

Poppy, poppy, what do you tell?

Many soldiers in battle fell.

Poppy, poppy what should we know?

That peace on earth should grow, grow, grow.

 

The Act of Remembrance

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.