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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[A bear in War] A very touching bedtime story for young children

We try to read bedtime stories matching calendar events. For instance, we read books about Santa Claus and Christmas stories in December, Leprechaun stories before St. Patrick's day, about Jesus and crucifixion before Easter etc.
We read two books every evening which makes about 60 books a month.
Besides, Remi reads chapter books by himself and french books for school.
He is a good reader. Pablo is still learning how to read.
There is no way to buy that many books. We borrow and hold books through Ottawa public library. I love the system. We hold about 25-50 books any day of the year.
This year, in early November, i.e. before Remembrance day,
I read "A bear in War" for a bedtime story.

You would think that a war story is not a good bedtime story. Maybe.
But this story was really touching.
I cry when I read a touching story and that was what I did while I was reading this "A bear in War" to my kids. :(

Do you want to hear the story?

I don't want to be a spoiler. But, this is a story based on a real story.

Teddy is a stuffed bear that belonged to Aileen Rogers when she was a girl growing up in Quebec. 

When Aileen’s father, Lawrence Browning Rogers, went to Europe to fight for Canada in World War I, Teddy was shipped overseas to help protect him.

He missed his family as much as they missed him. Lawrence and his wife exchanged more than 200 letters. 

10-year-old Aileen decided they needed to send Teddy to her father “to remind him of home and keep him safe.”  That Teddy was the narrator of the storybook.

But it was not enough. While Aileen’s father did not survive the war, dying at Passchendaele in 1917, the little bear that was found in a pocket of his uniform did survive, even though Teddy's hind legs were lost. Teddy was sent back to the family along with his wedding ring.

Aileen's niece found Teddy in her aunt's briefcase. 

Teddy now lives at the Canadian War Museum, in Ottawa.

Wasn't it a very touching story?

We wanted to have our kids to meet Teddy. 

So, Mr. D took a day off on the following school PD day, and brought the boys to the War museum. :)

Yes. We have executive talents in that sense :)
Well,I have always loved the history. But I've never liked war history though. I don't know, but I've not been fond of war or its story.
So I hadn't really thought about visiting War museum even though I got a strong interest of seeing that Teddy in war.
Well I didn't have a chance yet, but some day.
On the other hand, both Remi and Pablo love war story. It's funny, isn't it? Maybe it's because they are boys...?

Mr. D took lots of photos in the museum. But, I'll show you only some selected ones.
I'll show you the photos of Teddy at the end.
Wait! Stop scrolling all the way down!!!
There are other interesting stuffs other than Teddy!

This is the Memorial hall outside of the war museum, where to pause and reflect upon the service, and the sacrifice, of Canadians in war.

You will see poppy seeds wreath there if you visit the museum around Remembrance day.

   Canadians (and British and other commonwealth countries) wear poppies before and on Remembrance day .. Remembrance day is the memorial day to ince the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty, especially at World War I.

Do you know where this 'Remembrance Poppy' originates from?

It was inspired from the most famous poem, "In Flanders Fields", written during the World War I, by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

In Flanders Field
 Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

Boys looking at coins they threw~

Canada's contribution to the First Word War led to growing autonomy and international recognition, but at great cost.

Have you heard of Vimy?

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a battle fought primarily as part of the Battle of Arras, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, during the First World War. The main combatants were the Canadian Corps, against the German Sixth Army.

The battle was the first occasion when all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in a battle together, and thus became a Canadian nationalistic symbol of achievement and sacrifice. A 250-acre (100 ha) portion of the former battleground now serves as a preserved memorial park and site of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
(We are planning to visit Vimy in 2012~ I'll update our trips with photos next year)

The War museum is located at Vimy Place.

Battle scenes are displayed.

I hope we will never experience any more war.

Pablo wanted to try a First world war helmet.

Surprisingly, a staff came to take out the helmet on display and let boys try it.

This stained glass is made to remark the end of the Great War in 1918.

There are lots of information and exposition about World War II,
but I'll post those some day.

And, now~
here comes the photos of the purpose of this visit. :)

This is Teddy which Aileen sent to his Daddy participating in the war and the last letter Howard, Aileen's brother, wrote to his father.

And this was the information for the display.

This is Teddy, who lost his hind legs.

We are grateful that Aileen's family donated this Teddy to the War museum so that we can all remember the soldiers who left to fight for the country.

Remi and Pablo were solving the quiz about war.

Remi taking photos.

My three guys ate lunch at cafeteria of the museum.

Remi is trying to open the relish pack.

I was glad to hear that Pablo behaved at the museum. :)

Well, these are the photos from over a month ago.
But, as we liked this book very much,
I wanted to introduce here before the end of 2011. :)

A Bear in War


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