Friday, 7 November 2014

Veterans Week: Sharing the history of animal veterans

Photo by Defence Images Foter CC-BY-NC-ND
Animals in war: Sharing the history of our fallen furry veterans

By Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez
Veterans Week is here- time to pay tribute to those who served our country in the past and to celebrate those fighting for our rights and freedom right now. In the United States Nov. 11 is called Veterans Day and here in Canada it is Remembrance Day but regardless of the title North Americans are showing loving patriotism for their country.


When remembering the men and women who served in the military let’s not forget the four legged creatures that risked their lives for us as well. In Ottawa, Ontario there is a national memorial called The Animals in War Dedication that pays homage to those animals. It’s not just dogs- elephants, cats, pigeons and horses left their paw and hoof-prints on the front lines. Alongside the amazingly humble soldiers that fought for us these creatures stood proud for our country.

One of the most important things we must do during Veterans Week is making sure the memories and history is passed down to the younger generation. These are the events and stories that shape our national community and to attract the interest of the younger generation can sometimes be difficult but it is so important. We must share to remember or lest we forget.

Veterans Affairs Canada has made passing down the stories of animals that served in combat to the youth easier with Tales of Animals in War- a free PDF document on their website. It teaches the history of war from Korea to the Second World War to Afghanistan as well as highlights real-life stories of pets in combat. It is not just an interesting read but also a great teaching aid and a fun story for parents to share during Veterans Week.

Support the military by handing down their history in a fun way. It is one of the best gifts that you can give. Happy Remembrance Day and Veterans Day! A special thank you to all of the soldiers- human and otherwise- who put our country before their own lives.


Click here to read Tales of Animals in War. Click here to see photos of soldier dogs. Find out more about the Service Dogs Canada, Canadian Armed Forces and the U.S. Army. Comment below and let us at Paws For Reaction know what you are doing to honor the military this Veterans Week! 




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