A child’s burned tricycle I photographed at the Peace Museum in Hiroshima
Adult: Tomorrow is Remembrance Day.
Child: Why is it called Remembrance Day? What should we remember?
Adult: We should remember that many people have died in wars, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, World War I and World War II, the Boer War, the Crusades, the battle that Joshua fought at Jericho. We should remember that whenever there is war soldiers die, grandparents die, parents die, and most sadly of all children die.
Child: You mean children like me?
Adult: I mean children like you.
Child: I’m glad those wars are over and children aren’t dying anymore.
Adult: But they are. Right now in many places in our world there is war and violence and children are dying.
Child: That’s very sad, but I guess there is nothing I can do about that.
Croatian child at his father’s funeral during the war in 1991. Photo by Ron Haviv. I photographed it at a museum in Dubrovnik last month.
Adult: Oh but there is.
Child: There is?
Adult: Yes, on Remembrance Day the most important thing for each person to think about is what they can do to bring peace to the world.
Child: I’m just a kid. There’s nothing I can do to bring peace to the world.
Adult: You’re wrong about that. Have you ever thrown a little stone into a pond, or a puddle or a lake?
Child: Sure. Lots of times.
Adult: And what happens?
Child: The stone makes a splash and then these little ripples spread out around it and keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Adult: That’s just how peace works. Our world would be a much safer and happier place if everyone would try their very hardest to get along peacefully with the people they work with and play with and live with.
Child: You don’t mean people like my sister? She’s not always so easy to get along with.
Adult: That’s exactly what I mean! Peace in the world starts by trying to bring peace to families and schools and playgrounds and neighbourhoods.
Sisters playing with a skipping rope on their floating boat home. I photographed them in Halong Bay Vietnam
Child: You mean trying not to fight with other kids at school or home is going to make a difference?
Adult: You bet it is! Countries are made up of families and communities. Peaceful homes and communities make for peaceful countries and peaceful countries make up a peaceful world.
Child: So what you are saying is that I can be that little stone that starts all kinds of peace ripples out into the world?
Child: Hey that’s pretty awesome! I can be a peacemaker.
Adult: Not just you. Everyone can be a peacemaker; children, teachers, parents, neighbours, communities, cultures and countries.
Child: I guess it’s not that easy a thing is it, for everyone to live in peace with each other?
Adult: It’s a very hard thing. People have been working at it since time began.
Child: Is it possible?
Adult: We have to believe that it is.
Friends I photographed at an elementary school in Bali
Child: So it is up to me to try to get along peacefully with my friends, my parents, my brothers and sisters, my teachers and the people in my neighbourhood.
Adult: That’s right!
Child: I’ll sure try.
Adult: That’s all anyone can do.
Child: So that’s what Remembrance Day is all about. It is remembering that war is a terrible thing that causes sadness and pain. It is remembering that I can do my part to bring peace to the world.
Adult: You’ve got it exactly right! Now you know what to remember on Remembrance Day.
Soldiers graves I photographed at the Sai Wan War Cemetery in Hong Kong including those of many Canadians
Remembrance Day Images
Utah Massacre Remembered
War is Hell For Children