This news article about a father teaching his son about terrorism in the aftermath of the Paris Terror attacks last week reminded me of a similar lesson my son learnt at the same age.
They might have guns but we have flowers,” the father says at one point.
“But flowers don’t do anything,” says the boy.
“Of course they do,” the father replies. “Look, everyone is putting flowers. It’s to fight against the guns”
“It’s to protect?”
On September 11th, 2001. TK was nearly 4yrs old. His Creche was across the road from the American Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand. The children from his creche took flowers to the Embassy and placed them under the flags (which were at half mast). TK waited and watched the flags. When he was told that it was time to go, he turned back to the teacher, crying. The teacher asked what the matter was. TK had thought that by putting the flowers under the flag that would make the people better and the flag would therefore rise again.
He also made 2 cardboard planes and asked me to send them to replace the ones ‘the bad men’ had broken. I posted them to American Airlines, who put them on display. I received thank you notes from American Airlines staff for a few weeks afterwards.