Video of CAF speakers delivering the speech for children in kindergarten to grade 2

Video / October 27, 2020


Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence:

Hi Kids.

I’m Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence for Canada, and I wanted to speak with you before you watch this Veterans’ Week video.

Dealing with Coronavirus these past eight months has been really hard. You’ve all been so brave, and I know you’re following all the rules to keep everyone safe. So, thank you for everything that you are doing!

So, Remembrance Day is a special time for us to think about our country, Canada, and all the times when many people had to be brave because of what was happening around the world.

Many many years ago, Canadians had to fight in faraway places to protect our country and save people’s lives. And today, too, people in the military work hard every single day to keep all of us - and Canada - safe.

I hope you enjoy learning more about them in this video. And a special thank you to all of the grownups and your teachers in your lives who are keeping our history alive and helping you learn it.

And a great thank you to all our Veterans.

Capt Gary Lacoursière:

Hi Kids!

As you can see from my uniform, I am a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and our job is to help keep Canadians safe.

Several of my friends from across the country will talk to you today about some very important people we remember this time of the year – our Canadian veterans.

Lt Darshan Ganeshan:

It’s ok if you don’t know who veterans are.  I’m here to tell you about these very special people.

Veterans are people who were in the Navy, the Air Force or the Army.

They wore uniforms like I do and like police and firefighters do.

“Have you heard of the Navy, Army, and Air Force?”

A/SLt Shannon Delaney:

Well let me tell you about them!

They are people like me who protect our country by working at sea, on the land, and in the sky. We drive ships, trucks and tanks, and we fly planes. We are sailors, soldiers and aviators.  Those are people who fly planes.

We do hard work and often we work far away from home, sometimes in dangerous countries to help stop wars.

War is a very sad and tough time. It's hard to find food and clothes, and children can't go outside to play or go to school because it's not safe.

S1 JC Richards:

Do you remember when I told you that our veterans are a very important group of people?

Well, that’s because they fought to stop wars around the world. They fought so people in those countries could feel safe again. And that’s a very important job.

Even though we haven’t had a war here in Canada, soldiers, sailors and aviators have also protected us at home, when firefighters, police services, and emergency workers need help with things like forest fires and floods, we’re ready to help them.

Now, let’s think about how we can say thank you to our veterans.

The very best thing we can do to thank our veterans is to remember their stories and to wear a poppy. It shows them that the work they did is still important to us.

So, we have a special day every year when we do our best to remember our veterans and their stories. Do you know what that day is called?

That day is called Remembrance Day, and it is on November 11th.

We remember how brave our veterans were. Their jobs were dangerous – they risked their lives to keep us safe and to help people in other countries feel safe again when there was fighting. It was hard. 

But because of the courage of veterans, those people were not scared or sad anymore.

Kids were able to go outside and play like they used to.

They had good food and clothing again, and life was better for their families.

Sgt Daniel Racette:

So now I’d like to tell you a story about some veterans who protected us in a war about 80 years. It was called the Second World War and it was fought in Europe, which is very far away on the other side of the ocean.

One of those Canadians was named Bob. It was very dangerous to fight in the war, but Bob was very brave and he went anyway, even though he knew he could get hurt. 

To get there, some of them took boats, while others jumped from planes in parachutes. It was very dangerous.

While Bob and his group of sailors were in a country called the Netherlands, they met a little girl named Sussie – she was 10 years old.

Sussie wanted to thank Bob and the other veterans who had come to protect her and her family, and her community. She wanted to be their friend and visited them every day.

A/SLt Shannon Delaney:

Because of the war, Sussie didn't have warm clothes for the winter or have enough food to eat. But that didn’t stop Sussie from singing and laughing with Bob and the other soldiers.

They all loved having Sussie around.

Christmas was coming, so they wanted to do something special for Sussie and give her a Christmas gift, but there was nothing to buy anywhere.

Where could they find a Christmas gift for Sussie?

They decided to make her one instead.

They took out their warm blankets and they found someone who could sew it into a warm coat for the little girl.

They didn't have any buttons for the coat, so they each took buttons off their own jackets, and had them sewn onto the coat.

On Christmas Day, when they gave Sussie her gift she couldn't believe it. It was the most beautiful coat she had ever seen and it kept her so warm.

S1 JC Richards:

When you give somebody a gift, does it make you feel good?

Yes. And when somebody gives you a gift, does it make you feel good?

Well, that's exactly how the veterans and Sussie felt.

Even though the war was such a sad time, this special moment made them happy.

Soon after that, Bob and the other veterans helped end the war, and they were even happier.

Capt Gary Lacoursière:

Now, people wouldn't be scared or sad anymore. And children like Sussie would be able to go outside and play like they used to.

Since their hard work was done, Bob and the other veterans came back home to Canada.

A/SLt Shannon Delaney:

But Sussie never forgot who gave her the little coat and protected her during the war.

I hope you will always remember the story of Sussie's coat too. And I hope you will tell it to other people.

S1 JC Richards:

That way, you will help everybody remember the important work that our veterans did to end the Second World War and protect people like Sussie.

And you will help everyone remember that even today, there are Canadians in the Navy, the Army and the Air Force working hard to end other wars so that kids like you can be safe everywhere.

Capt Gary Lacoursière:

Thank you for listening to my story.

And thank you for remembering our veterans on Remembrance Day.

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