The Poppy

November 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm 3 comments

Yesterday I purchased a poppy and put it on my jacket.  Lil C loves it.  I keep telling him not to touch it cause it’s sharp.  He smelled it and said it smells good (?).

Lil D asked why I’m wearing it and why others around are wearing them.

I told him simply that it’s a way to remember those who fought in the wars to make sure we could continue to live in freedom.  And then I mentioned that his great-grandfather (now deceased) fought in the war.  I’m sure that doesn’t mean much to a five-year old.  But he stopped asking.

Then my dad sent me this email:

Yesterday I took Nannie M. to the JCC where there was an event honoring the 789 Jewish Veterans from Ottawa who participated in WWI WWII and the Korean War. They dedicated a large scroll with all the names, so Nannie could see Buppy (editor’s note:  weird family nickname for grandfather), Uncle Harry, and Uncle Frank. There were still some old guys around looking like Buppy with their blue blazers and medals. In fact, there was an honor guard who marched in with the flags and a bugler who played The Last Post. Nanny really appreciated being there and had a chance to meet up with a few of the women she remembered from her youth, etc.
Liisa, I have Buppies* medals…do you think Lil D is too young for me to show them to him and tell him the story?

(*editor’s note:  dad, it should be “Buppy’s”)

This morning I told my dad that he is welcome to tell Lil D about the medals and whatever portion of the war stories he wants to tell.  I trust that the story about grabbing the guy in the balls in hand to hand combat will be omitted at this point, and perhaps the cold-blooded killing can be saved for later.  I also suggested there might be a good WWII children’s book that might make the storytelling more age-appropriate.
I found this “Dear Mom” letter on the Veteran’s Affairs website that might give him some ideas.
Does anyone have any ideas on teaching very young children about Remembrance Day?

Entry filed under: Parenting. Tags: , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jackie  |  November 9, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I went to my kids remembrance day ceremony at school last year. They had a WW2 vet come speak to them and showed a video that I think was age appropriate (I presume it was from Veteran affairs). Meanwhile my daughter came home with this poem they are doing for their ceremony on Thursday:

    Poppy we are but children small,
    We are too little to do it all.

    Children you may do your part.
    Love each other is how you start.
    Play without fighting.
    Share your games and toys.
    Be kind and thoughtful,
    To all girls and boys.

  • 2. Danielle S  |  November 9, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    My almost 4 year old asked me the same question this morning. i do find it very hard to answer such a simple question. How do you give it justice with a simple concept for a child. I think you keep it as simple as possible and they’ll learn more and more about as they get older. The medal is great though for a child to start to grasp the honor of the moment.

  • 3. Finola  |  November 11, 2010 at 1:44 am

    I have a very hard time talking to my girls about war. I would much rather talk about sex – sure, ask me anything! I don’t have any answers, but I love your question and would love to hear what others have to say. Feedback about the war museum would be great too.


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