Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The WRITE Thing To Do

November 11th marks a significant day in the year, a day of remembrance, gratitude and respect. As a Canadian living in the United States I have a unique view of this day from both sides. In the US, California specifically the schools are closed on Veterans day. I assumed naturally so the kids could stay home, participate in local Veterans day events, pay respects to their veterans and not have their head stuck in their iPhones. When I was in elementary school in Canada we ALWAYS went to school. We attended assembly's, listened to a live performance of 'Taps', recited "In Flanders Fields" and really honored our veterans and active service members together as a school. So in lieu of ceremony like I have had in my past, my children, husband and I spent part of the afternoon writing gratitude letters to the soldiers. My husband and I provided our own historical lessons to the children as well.

When is the last time you wrote a hand written thank you card, note or letter to anyone? Have you ever expressed your gratitude to a soldier?

I write personal thank you cards and notes all the time but I can't remember the last time I wrote a letter to anyone and shamefully I have never written to a soldier. We all love to feel appreciated and our efforts valued. Soldier's efforts are on another level from anything we as civilians can imagine. I can sit and type on this fabulous computer in the comfort of my own home because other human beings gave up their comforts to secure mine. Some lost their lives and others returned home forever changed. I have sincere gratitude for what they have done but unexpressed I feel like it means very little, I had to do the 'write' thing.
So the way we celebrated Veterans day was to write a gratitude letter to one Canadian soldier and one American soldier. 
My kids decorated their cards/letters. 
My husband poured his heart out of his pen. My teenage step son would not let any of us read his but fully participated in the experience and said that he learned a lot during the time we spent. Much of the information we discussed is sadly absent from the History lessons in school.
Writing a letter to a stranger was an interesting exercise all on it's own. The time spend bonding with our children, talking about both countries history in combat and socially was something that I will always remember and continue to do each year. 
Message from my 5 year old: "Thank you for keeping us safe"

Expressing your gratitude and thankfulness to everyone, everyday is ALWAYS the right thing to do!

Do you want to send a Christmas Card? or a note of gratitude to a soldier? Here is where we sent ours!

Red Fridays Foundation of Canada
Christmas Cards to the troops
398 Charrington Ave 
Oshawa, Ontario 
L1G 7B2

Will you do the 'write' thing?

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