Monday, November 8, 2010

A kick in the pants by serendipity

November 11 is Canada’s day to remember those who have been in involved in military operations, whether because of war or peacekeeping duties.

I hadn’t planned to post anything about resources for Remembrance Day, but having just read A Bear in War by Stephanie Innes (940.40971 InB 2008 PIC BK) and then visited the website Historica-Dominion Institute  where I found some pictures that were most relevant to this particular story – well, I can take a hint.  Nudge, nudge…

A Bear in War is based on a true story about Lawrence Rogers who enlists to fight for England in World War I. This fictionalized version is told by Teddy, the beloved stuffed bear of Lawrence’s daughter, Aileen.  We come to know this Quebec farming family and the rhythm of daily life and feel the pain that comes when Lawrence leaves.  Eventually, Aileen sends Teddy to Europe to help protect her father while he works with injured soldiers and to that end he carries Teddy in his coat pocket.  Though the stuffed bear does provide comfort, it is unable to prevent Lawrence’s death at the battle of Passchendaele.  About year after the battle, Teddy is returned to Canada with Lawrence’s uniform and medal for bravery.
As I was checking out resources at the Historica-Dominion Institute website (good resources for Remembrance Day including recorded accounts of war experiences from veterans and military personnel currently engaged), I discovered a picture of Teddy .  The cherished bear now resides in the Canadian War Museum and is one of its most popular exhibits - a small stuffed bear that makes an event from, seemingly, long ago and far away, very real. This might be seen as a testament to the real cost of war and a reminder that soldiers and their families pay the highest price. 
I know.  A lot to remember.

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shelf-employed said...

How sad. Thank you for sharing.

Jeff Barger said...

What a moving story! I need to find this book. A Bear in War would help students learn about the origins of this coming holiday and about the price of war.

Tammy Flanders said...

Thanks for stopping by. Yes, this is a moving story and it is a little sad. Over all, I found it focused on the relationships and not the 'sadness' part. I think as adults that's what we bring to this story. I hope kids can get some sense of this, too without it seeming too distance, not real or on the other hand, overwhelming. I loved finding the picture of the real Teddy which was pure coincidence.

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