How to Talk to Your Kids About Veteran's Day
As the proud wife and daughter of U.S. veterans, November 11, Veteran's Day, has always been an important day in our family. Veteran's Day is a day of remembrance; a day to honor the men and women who have fought—or who are still fighting—to preserve our freedoms.
Perhaps your husband, wife, friend or loved one is currently serving in our military. If that's the case, THANK YOU for your their daily sacrifice! We as a nation are truly grateful and eternally indebted!
How do we teach our kids the importance of celebrating veterans? First, it's important to explain to them that throughout the Bible the position of soldier was highly respected. For example, Paul describes Epaphroditus, a fellow Christian, as a "fellow soldier" (Philippians 2:25). The Bible also uses military terms to describe being strong in the Lord by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), including the tools of the soldier--helmet, shield, and sword. Iconic men of God, such Joshua and King David spent a good portion of their lives in battle.
Next, I would encourage you to teach them to honor our veterans in some tangible way. Because there have been so many people who want to send letters and care packages to "any soldier" who is fighting abroad, there are several programs that have stopped taking these gifts. The American Red Cross has always been a great go-to organization for information and resources about supporting our troops! If you know of an organization who is currently taking letters, cards, and care packages for our military personnel, please share that information in the comments section.
A really nice family activity that you may want to do with your kids, is to take them to a local retirement home where there are veterans from many different wars. Homemade cards, letters, cookies and especially a few minutes of conversation with these men and women who have served our country in the military would be greatly appreciated. Asking questions and giving these men and women a chance to tell their valiant stories can bless your children, greatly! (Always check with the retirement home to set up this type of visitation).
When kids ask why we fight wars, for us parents, those answers may be tough ones to convey to the little innocents that stand before us. War is ugly and it's scary. It can be lonely for those away fighting as well as for the family who is at home praying for their loved one's safe return. In the United States we have an philosophy that God created all men equal and that personal freedom is something worth fighting for-- and even dying for. There are people in this world who don't like our country and have started fights with us; sometimes we have started fights with other countries too. War is not something we ever want. In fact we strive for peace. But when either we or one of our friends are attacked, we must stand for what is right, and if need be, fight for that freedom.
Thank you to the men and women of the United States Military for your honor, your sacrifice and your love of our country!
Lisa Strnad is an independent contractor in Christian media as a writer, marketing consultant, and public relations specialist. She speaks to Christian women's groups on the issues of motherhood, homeschooling and raising a child with special needs. Lisa and her family make their home in Nashville.