Understanding why we remember

Anita Jaensch 22 October 2021

Our education portal, RSL Education, has plenty of free resources for teachers and parents to help teach young people the significance of Remembrance Day.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – we’ve all heard the phrase but what does it really mean?

Why is it poppies for Remembrance Day and rosemary for ANZAC Day?

And what does ‘the Armistice’ have to do with any of it?

George Santayana once said that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. However, as the ranks of our older veterans thin, and most Australians’ links to the ANZACs fade into history, the reason behind many of these traditions can be lost.

If you’re teaching your students about Remembrance Day (or if you’ve ever wondered about the answers to any of those questions yourself), RSL Education has a range of curriculum-based, age-appropriate resources to help you out.

The Shrine of Remembrance in Brisbane's ANZAC Square

Child making a poppy wreath

Older students can learn about what life was like for Australian soldiers during WWI, including the rules of war, the risk of gas attacks, and other dangers of trench warfare, or the lasting impact that WWI had on Australian society.

ANZACs marching during WWI

And even when Remembrance Day is past, there’s plenty more on the portal, such as educational resources on Health and Wellbeing – including a mini bootcamp and resources on empathy, resilience, and PTSD and anxiety.

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