On November 11th, 1918 World War I ended with fighting officially coming to a close at the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.” Since that time many commonwealth countries observe “Remembrance Day” while other countries, including the United States observe “Veterans Day”. Days are usually marked with somber celebrations where we take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices our war veterans made fighting for peace. With the end of the war was almost 100 years ago it may seem like something that’s in the distant past. Something removed from our everyday lives. Something from history. While the events it recognizes are in our past, the day has significance for our present and future. So, it’s valuable to realize why teaching your children about Remembrance Day is so important.
The end of the First World War was almost 100 years ago, which for many of us our grandparents weren’t even born yet. Our connection to that is so far removed from our tech heavy, instantly connected lives of today. So, how is it relevant to us and our children? Unfortunately, we still live in a world with international conflict that has some reliance on young people risking their lives to keep us free. While the scale isn’t at the same level it is certainly something that exists in our lives today. Using Remembrance Day (or Veterans Day) as a teaching tool to demonstrate the sacrifices of our veterans today is important to help our children to further understand the impact 100 years ago.
Sharing stories of families who have lost loved ones, or experienced war first hand is a thoughtful way to teach your children about empathy. Allowing them to put themselves in the shoes of others is an important developmental step for children. This can help create a deeper understanding for what other families have gone through (or are going through.)
Just because events happened in the far reaches of our past doesn’t mean they aren’t worth remembering. You may know the famous quote by George Santayana which reads, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Understanding the reasons and consequences of history will hopefully help future generations from making similar problems. Introducing history early in young people’s lives is a great way to foster interest as they get older.
These are just a few reasons why it’s important to teach your children about the meaning of Remembrance Day. Do you have some tools to help teach your children? How early do you start teaching your children? Comment below and let us know what you think.
~ Alicia & Jeremy