3 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Remembrance Day

On Nov. 11, help children imagine the bravery of those who serve their country with these simple tips.

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National War Memorial in Ottawa, OntarioPhoto: Shutterstock

What Remembrance Day means

For many children, the past can seem like a distant world. Bringing it into the present begins with the sharing of stories.

"Remembrance Day is about recalling the sacrifices your fellow Canadians have made, but also about honouring their courage," says 43-year-old former soldier William MacDonald, who received the Star of Military Valour in 2009 for running through enemy fire in Afghanistan to save his comrades.

On Nov. 11, help children imagine the bravery required of MacDonald and others like him by learning their stories. Here's how.

Discover the true story behind the "In Flanders Fields" poem.

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Family on Remembrance DayPhoto: Shutterstock

Make a connection

Dig through your family tree to find a relative who was in the military. Failing that, search out a friend's relative or someone in your town. Get information about when and where they served using Fold3.com and ancestry.ca/remember.

Learn about the everyday things that were actually designed for WWI.

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Canadian veterans during Remembrance Day paradePhoto: Shutterstock/Sergei Bachlakov

Make Remembrance Day real

Pay a visit to a living veteran. It could be set up with the aid of a Royal Canadian Legion branch or a local retirement home; or you could meet with a modern veteran in your community. Through conversation, a soldier's experiences come alive.

Don't miss these true stories of Canadians who helped make D-Day a success!

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Mother and child at cemetery during Remembrance DayPhoto: Shutterstock

Make it meaningful

Involve your child in a project. Create some artwork (the Royal Canadian Legion organizes an annual poster contest) or write a letter to a soldier (the Department of National Defence runs an online message program). Encourage your child to express his or her thoughts about the past—and to share them.

Next, make sure to read these powerful true stories of Canadian veterans.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada