The 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month…how we remember. 

Remembrance Day is an important day of the year. It is a time to reflect on those people who risk their lives for the safety and freedom of others. This can be armed forces, police, the health professionals on front line and many, many more. 

My family was an RAF family. I was born on an RAF camp in Germany and lived the ‘RAF brat’ life. My Grandad, my Dad, my Uncles all served in the RAF. I remember my Dad going away many times, often for weeks or months. As a child it was the norm and didn’t really hit me till I was older that my Dad might not come back. 
I was one of the lucky ones. All my family came back, every time! They have all since retired and become veterans (something I remind my dad despite it making him feel old). I know that many men and women (and children) didn’t make it home. They fight for us every day. 

For this they deserve respect. Those who died during wars and conflicts deserve to be remembered. So I will always make sure that J takes part in Remembrance Day and Armistice Day. He is Autistic so his level of empathy as well as attention can differ to ‘neurologically typical’ children. However I don’t see this as a reason not to teach him to respect this day.

It does however mean I need to tweak it and make it work for us. This year J has been poorly so we couldn’t get to town to see the poppys. But we did celebrate (is that the right word?) from home.

Exploring the poppy 

J has been wearing his poppy. Admittedly he keeps pulling it off but then we put it on again. We have looked at it together and talked about the colours and shapes.

We then drew pictures of the poppy and coloured them in. We focused on the colours more than it actually looking like a poppy. I drew one and J coloured it in for me, then ‘created’ his own. 

Learning the meaning

J is almost 3. He’s not ready to know all the details and story behind Remembrance Day. So we used the Cbeebies poppy video to help us. At 11am we tuned in and watched together. I didn’t expect J to be silent for 2 minutes. So instead we talked quietly about the video. I would commentate about how scared the animals must be, but the hat belonging to the armed forces personnel was keeping them safe (just like they keep us safe too). I explained that the fighting and loud noises were over now and everyone was safe and happy again. I said the Poppy’s help us remember to say thank you to the people who kept and are keeping us safe.

How much of it did J take on board? I don’t know. But it’s the same message I will continue to enforce so over the years he will understand more and more. You never know, we might even manage 1/2 minutes silence next year..aim high, haha. 

It’s such a lovely video and makes me teary every time! If you are looking for activities to do at home about Remembrance Day then check out Twinkl or Pinterest. 

But most of all, just take a minute this weekend to remember those who fought and continue to fight for us ❤️ 

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