Child Soldiers Remembrance Day

One minute of silence stretches to two
Our hearts at the ready, our hands in salute
Then rings the trumpet, solemn and slow
To remember the crosses, row upon row

Recite poems of trenches, wars won at great cost
Recollect renowned battles, the lives that were lost
Doolittle, Dieppe, Old Baldy, and Midway
“Never again,” we all silently pray

War isn’t kind and it sure isn’t fair
There aren’t any winners, not when children are there
We stand to remember but quickly forget
Just how many young ones have fought and faced death

They’re beaten and threatened and forced to take aim
And they’re used as a shield, merely pawns in a game
Children should play with their hearts open wide
Not spy on their neighbours with guns at their side

So I will stay silent to honour the dead
But I will speak out for all that’s unsaid
I will not forget all the kids that are living
Lest I stay quiet and armies keep killing
Lest it’s my silence that means more children missing
Lest this cruel slavery keeps on existing

One minute of silence stretches to two
I’ll fight for the living; join with me, wont you?

The use of children in military engagements is the dark underbelly of an already dark reality. It is difficult to know just how many children are used as soldiers since it occurs illegally and under the radar. Conservative estimates place the number somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 children worldwide, fighting for both rebel groups and government armies (24).1 Children as young as seven have been recruited into armies. 2

This is a bleak reality that demands action. World Vision is helping in the fight against the use of children as soldiers in war. To find out how you can partner with us in the fight, please visit our Gift Catalogue, click below to find out more.

Make a Difference

1. Michael G. Wessells, Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection,” (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, ), 2.UNICEF, “Impact of Armed Conflict on Children: Children at Both Ends of the Gun,” available online at www.unicef.org/graca/kidsoldi.htm. Accessed 10 November, 2014.