They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;In Australia, Sunday – 25 April - is ANZAC day. ANZAC day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC day is a national remembrance when Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war and the qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice that were demonstrated at the Gallipoli landing.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
from For the Fallen, by Laurence Binyon
How we can help our children to connect to the meaning of ANZAC day (especially if like my children you don’t know many people who serve in the army or have fought in a war)? Here are some thoughts …
- attend a dawn service or ANZAC day memorial service. Or if this is not possible visit a war memorial on another day.
- discuss how they use the values we honour on ANZAC day in their lives – for example, teaching and practising courage with your children.
- talk about how, what and why we remember things. The story in this education resource from the Dept of Veteran’s Affairs, suitable for young children, might help open the discussion. Or I love the story My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day, by Catriona Hoy and Benjamin Johnson to open a discussion about rememberance and the meaning of Anzac Day.
- work with your children to research your family history. Did any members of your family fight in a war for Australia or any other country? The Australian War Memorial has a page to help you research the military service of family members.
- And for a little bit of crafty and cooking fun get this free download from Mooo (now TinyMe) and make some ANZAC poppies or ANZAC biscuits and discover the meaning of these ANZAC day symbols (I found this resource thanks to Colour Me There).
How do you help your children to understand the meaning of ANZAC day?
This post has been updated and republished from April 2010.