Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A Time to Remember

This year Remembrance Day falls during our November break. In order to help the children better understand it's significance, we spent time this week learning more about what Remembrance Day is all about and what it means for us today.

Earlier in the week, we read A Poppy is to Remember. This children's picture book provided us an appropriate starting place for our discussions. Together we wondered, "What does it really mean when we wear a poppy?".

Today we were blessed to have Mrs. LaForce, a treasured Educational Assistant at Holy Redeemer, come and spend some time with us. She helped us explore the significance of Remembrance Day by sharing with us the experiences of her son. Mrs. LaForce's son, Sam, is a veteran. The children learned that a veteran is someone who has served in the war.

Mrs. LaForce showed us a picture of her son when he was in Grade One like us. He always enjoyed being outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. From an early age, Sam wanted to serve his country and protect others.

Mrs. LaForce sharing her son's Grade 1 picture

As Sam grew older, his interest in serving in the army grew. After he graduated, he worked very hard at an army school in Quebec. Here he learned how to protect himself and others. Sam continued his training at the base in Wainwright. Shortly after his return to Alberta, Sam joined other Canadians and went to help the people of Afghanistan.

This is Sam in his dress uniform.

This is Sam before he left for Afghanistan.

Mrs. LaForce shared many very special items with our class. This helped us to get a better understanding of what peacekeepers do and the conditions they work in.

These are rations. Rations are packaged foods that are good to eat for years and years! Sam ate rations often. We were each able to taste a little bite of bread from one of the ration packs.

We were also able to see a shirt Sam wore in Afghanistan, his treasured regimental flag, and his beret.

Our visit with Mrs. LaForce helped us better understand what it means to be a peacekeeper and who we are honoring when we wear a poppy. Real people are out in the world working very hard to make it a better, safer place for us all. Mrs. LaForce left us with an important thought; pray. Pray for those who are working to make our world peaceful.

Thank you, Mrs. LaForce, for thoughtfully sharing your son's experiences with us.  It was a very meaningful visit. We will hopefully look at the poppy on our collars with a little more understanding and a lot more gratitude.

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