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Teaching Your Children About Celebrating Veterans Day
I grew up in a military family. My dad is a retired colonel from the U.S. Army and I truly believe that serving in the military is an incredibly noble profession. I was always proud of my father growing up and I still am now.
In fact, my husband's father is a veteran as well. I think that it is important that my children understand what it is that my father did in the United States military.
Veterans Day is more than just another bank holiday or a day off from school (although we are not off here in Georgia) of course. It is a day to remember, to be observed with meaning and to recognize and participate in the communities we are a part of. On this day off, take the time to help kids celebrate Veterans Day and come to know and understand its importance to them as citizens of their country, and the world.
Here are a few fun and educational activities to help kids of any age celebrate Veterans Day this year.
CELEBRATE WITH POETRY
War and the desire for peace are two of the biggest inspirations for poetry, and poetry is a great way for children to express themselves. Popular poems like In Flanders Field, A Nation’s Strength and Prayer of a Soldier in France are all great pieces for students to become familiar with. Help children create their own poems about celebrating Veterans Day, a loved one or friends of the family that has served or a visit to a war memorial.
VISIT A WAR MEMORIAL OR COMMUNITY EVENT
Towns and villages around the country organize community wide events to honor our veterans, and these are open to all– not just the veterans themselves, or family and friends of veterans.
Head out to watch your town’s Veterans Day parade, they usually experience less crowds because of the time of year and because they are not traditionally manned by candy throwing floats. If your town, or one nearby has a war memorial, take the children to visit and encourage them to pay their respects to the soldiers it honors.
RESEARCH THE REASON FOR THE HOLIDAY
Every holiday has meaning, and Veterans Day is the same. Have children research why and when Veterans Day was established. Topics to look at include the timeline of the Great War, the armistice that was declared, other nations that commemorate the day, the original name for Veterans Day and why we changed the name.
THANK A VET
The best way for children to celebrate Veterans Day is to for the entire family to take the time to thank a veteran, whether you know one personally or not. Have kids create thank you cards that they can give to vets that they meet throughout the day, or to drop off at a local veterans hospital. Showing appreciation is important for children and to the men and women that have served.
It was very important to me to teach my children about Veterans Day and moreover, to teach them to celebrate. I reinforce the fact that I am thankful for our nation's military and I want them to be as well.
Tomorrow when my family calls my father, we will definitely say thank you and tell him how much we love him. We will celebrate him.