On this Remembrance Day, I’m sharing stories of my two grandfathers who served, along with some great suggestions from parents on how to talk with little ones about Remembrance Day. I would love any family stories you have. Just pop them in the comment section below.
Let’s all take a moment at 11:00 a.m (and throughout the whole day today) to remember and stand in honour of the Canadian women and men who have served and continue to serve for our freedom.
Remembrance Day Stories: My Grandfathers
My Grandpa Orville Kenneth Skelton (dad’s dad) went to war at the age of 30 and served three years as a Sergeant with the First Canadian Paratroopers. One of the most dangerous missions in war -dropping into combat not really knowing what was below.
That is pretty much all we know of Grandpa Skelton’s experience during that time as he almost never liked to discuss it. Too painful to relive.
My Pa – Lawrence Derlago (mom’s dad) fought on the front lines for three years, starting at the age of 19. He was helping a family in Holland one day and they gave him some eggs to say ‘thanks’. When he was making his way back to the trench when enemy fire broke out. He was hit and thought he wasn’t going to make it because he could feel what he thought was blood running down his face. Thankfully, it wasn’t blood, but the eggs he had put under his helmet to carry home.
Pa spoke many languages: Ukrainian, Czech, Polish, and Russian. He also spoke Dutch and German, which we think he learned during the war.
I’m proud of both of my grandfathers and all the men and women who have fought for our freedom and sacrificed for our country. Thank you!
How To Talk With Your Kids About Remembrance Day
We had another great chat yesterday on Instagram Stories about how to talk with little kids about Remembrance Day. Definitely check out these resources from Veterans Affairs Canada. It breaks it down into age groups, which is super helpful.
Here are some suggestions that came in from parents.
- “Our kids and two and four so we stick to talking about the Poppy and are planning to do a Poppy craft.” ~Alie (Click here for a poppy craft you can do with your kids.)
- “I try to steer clear of saying anything about fighting and war and stick to honouring people who help keep Canada safe.” ~Megan
- “We don’t sugarcoat anything. Some of it they’ll understand and some they won’t, but we talk openly about the war and the sacrifices. Our kids are 7 and 10.” ~Amy
- “We go to the legion every year in Fort Assiniboine. They do a great job of explaining it.” ~Jamie
- “We watch some videos on YouTube and read the kids book A Poppy To Remember.”~Shalainem
- “Books! I love a story that lays a foundation for a good discussion.”. ~Joclyn
- “My kids are six and four. I share pictures of all their ancestors who served.” ~Kate
- “Symbolism mainly. The poppy reminds us of soldiers who kept and continue to keep us safe.” ~Nicole
My parents couldn’t participate in the war. Dad was the eldest and had to stay home to look after the farm; his father only had one leg. His three brothers did go to war. My Mom was a teacher so did her part by staying at home to teach. I’m very proud of them both.
Amazing! Those who had to stay home contributed in big ways too. <3