A child's heroes

girl with American flag

Growing a nation for future citizens in our democracy…

A child’s first heroes are those closest to them –  at home and in their neighborhood. Many children personally know a person who has served in the military.

The first person I met that served in the military was my father. I met him when I was almost two years old and he returned from serving in the army overseas. I didn’t realize until I was in first or second grade, how many other children also have fathers, uncles, or grandfathers and mothers, aunts and grandmothers who served in the military. This pride, this sense of belonging to a special group, is a powerful feeling for a six year old. I still feel it.  

Children in early elementary school learn best through stories and experience. What I was learning from celebrating Veterans Day with my schoolmates was the joy of honoring all the people and all the work that is necessary to make our democracy strong.  What I learned from my father is that a good guy sometimes has mixed feelings about his actions. What I learned from being a six year old is that his feelings did not prevent our family from being so proud of his service that we could bust.

On Veterans Day, our heroes at home and abroad continue to defend the democracy and the rights of every citizen by their example and sacrifice. From the youngest to the oldest, we can all appreciate the work needed to protect and grow a nation for future citizens in our democracy.

Learn more about opportunities to celebrate heroes at https://constitutioncenter.org/learn/civic-calendar

– Dr. Elizabeth Waters

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AuthorDr. Elizabeth Waters