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Video of Major Katherine Mark delivering a speech intended for 5- to 8-year-old children

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Hello everyone. My name is Major Katherine Mark and I'm a nurse in the Canadian Armed Forces.

I'm very happy to be here today to speak to you about something that is very important, and that's our veterans.

Can anyone tell me who veterans are?

Yes, that's right. They are people who have served in the Navy, the Air Force and the Army.

They wore uniforms like I do and like police and firefighters do.

Does anyone know what the Navy, the Air Force and the Army are?

Yes, exactly. It's where people work on special ships and planes and on tanks. They do hard work like police and firefighters do. They often work far away in dangerous countries to help stop wars.

Do any of you know what a war is?

Yes. It is a very sad time when many people die and many people are frightened. It's hard to find food and clothes and children can't go outside to play because it's not safe. Doesn't that sound horrible?

Well, the good news is that we have veterans and veterans have helped to stop wars. They've also protected us when emergencies like fires and floods are too big for police and firefighters to handle on their own.

What do we do when somebody works hard so that we can be safe?

That's right, we say thank you.

Does anybody know the best way to say thank you to our veterans?

Those are all great ideas. But the very best thing we can do to thank our veterans is to remember their stories. It shows that the work that they did is still important to us.

So, we have a special day every year when we do our best to remember our veterans and their stories. Do you know what that day is called?

Yes, Remembrance Day, and it is on November 11th.

Today, I'm happy to be here to speak to you about this because my grandfather, Harold Simpson, served in World War II.

For this Remembrance Day, I'm gonna tell you a story about veterans who protected us during the Second World War like my grandfather did.

About 80 years ago, young Canadians decide to go away to Europe to help stop that war.

One of those young Canadians was named Bob. It was very dangerous for Bob and others to go and help stop the war, but they were very brave and they went anyways.

To get there, some of them took boats and jumped from planes in parachutes. It was so dangerous that many of them never came back.

But Bob survived and while he and other veterans were in a country called Europe, in the Netherlands, they met a little girl named Sussie.

Sussie was 10 years old and she was so grateful that Bob and other veterans had come to protect her, she wanted to be their friend. So every day, she visited them.

Because of the war, Sussie didn't have warm clothes even though it was winter. And she and her family didn't have enough food to eat. But she was very curious and determined little girl. So, she visited Bob and the other veterans anyway.

Bob and the other veterans loved having Sussie around.

Christmas was coming, so they wanted to do something special for Sussie and give her a Christmas gift, but there was nowhere to buy anything.

Where could they find a Christmas gift for Sussie?

They decided to make her one instead.

Bob and the other veterans took one of their warm blankets and they found someone who could sow it into a warm coat for the little girl.

They didn't have any buttons for the coat, so they each took one of their own buttons and they had it sewed onto the warm blanket which became Sussie's coat.

On Christmas Day, when they gave Sussie the coat, she couldn't believe it. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen and it kept her so warm.

When you give somebody a gift, does it make you feel good?

Yes. And when somebody gives you a gift, does it make you feel good? Yes.

Well, that's how Bob and the other veterans and Sussie felt.

Even though the war was such a sad time, they all felt happy because of Sussie's little coat.

Soon, Bob and the other veterans did end the war and now, it wasn't just the coat that made them happy: they were happy because they would have food and clothing again. And people wouldn't be frightened or sad anymore. Children would be able to go outside and play like they used to.

Since their hard work was done, Bob and the other veterans came back home to Canada.

But Sussie never forgot who the veterans were, who gave her the little coat and protected her during the war.

I hope you will always remember the story of Sussie's little coat too. And I hope you will tell it to other people.

That way, you will help everybody to remember the important work that Bob and other veterans did to end the Second World War and protect people like Sussie.

And you will help everyone remember that even today, there are Canadians in the Air Force, the Navy and the Army working hard to end other wars so that people like Sussie can be safe.

Thank you for listening to my story.

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