Today is Remembrance Day, which means that we’re all invited to take two minutes out of our day to be silent and remember those who sacrificed so much for our freedom. This is something that can be challenging enough for adults. For children, it’s even more difficult. How do we talk to our kids about Remembrance Day and what it means? How do we help them honour those who served (and are still serving) in an age-appropriate way?
Talking About Remembrance Day
If you need ideas, check out our article Talking About Remembrance Day. We rounded up mom-to-mom ideas for talking about concepts like war, peace, death, freedom and patriotism with children. One of the best suggestions, we feel, is to participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies with your children.
Here in Vancouver, the biggest event happens at Victory Square at the corner of Hastings and Cambie every year. The event starts at 10:30am, but if you’re attending try to arrive early so that your kids can be close enough to see. If you’re not able to travel downtown, or if you’d like something different, there are ceremonies held all across Metro Vancouver. We’ve rounded up details on just a few.
Remembrance Day Ceremonies Across Metro Vancouver
The indoor Remembrance Day Ceremonies are held at 10:00am at The Royal Westminster Regiment, Armouries. They are also broadcast live to Queens Avenue United Church. Plan to arrive at 9:30am – the doors to the Armouries will be closed at 9:45am. Both sites are stroller-friendly. Following the indoor ceremonies, participants parade to the Cenotaph for two minutes of silence and the laying of wreaths.
Participants meet at 10:30am in the Safeway Parking Lot at 4440 Hastings Street and parade to the North Burnaby Cenotaph in Confederation Park. Ceremonies begin at 10:45am. Following two minutes of silence at 11:00am, wreaths are layed. As the ceremonies are entirely outdoors you must dress for the weather. There is lots of space for strollers, and the ceremony is shorter than many others, making it a little more kid-friendly.
North Vancouver Remembrance Day ceremonies include a parade, which starts at 9:20am with the Pipe Band at the Armouries at 15th and Forbes. At 9:55am they’re joined by the RCMP and Fire Department at the RCMP Detachment. They’ll proceed to the Victoria Park Cenotaph, where ceremonies will take place at 10:30am. When the ceremonies are complete at approximately 11:30 the parade will be joined by veterans for its final leg. The parade will provide some interest for young kids, and since the ceremonies are outdoors there’s lots of space for little ones and strollers.
Beginning at 10:15am local veterans will parade from the Cloverdale Legion to the Cloverdale Cenotaph. There will be a service including prayers and two minutes of silence at 11:00am, following by the laying of wreaths. Following the ceremonies, head to the Surrey Museum next door where kid can make ‘peaceful crafts’, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. Families can also write thank you notes on postcards for local veterans and their families, view WWII documentary videos and more. Admission is by donation.
Lest we forget.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.