War was, unfortunately, a very real part of many of our ancestors' lives, and influenced their lives in sometimes very profound ways. So, in order to help our kids understand our ancestors, we can't skip the discussion of war when we are talking about their lives, even though it IS a difficult topic to have with children.
My WWI veteran ancestor was Luigi Licciardi and he fought in the Italian Army during the War. We don't know much about his service, but by 1920 he was on a ship to America, with his wife and young daughters to follow in 1921. Had he always wanted to come to America, or did his experiences during the war push him to start a new life somewhere far from the destruction and chaos in Europe? Enough Italian WWI veterans came to Cleveland, at least, that they started a social group/fraternal group known as Ex-Combattenti Italiani (Italian War Veterans), so perhaps that experience of serving and living through WWI did affect more peoples' decisions to emigrate out of Europe. Does your family have any ancestors that immigrated to America immediately after WWI?
My husband had a great-uncle, Edward Tumbush, who served in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during the War. He was the grandchild of German immigrants who came from Northwest Germany. It's hard to think that he may have been fighting against some of his own cousins on the front lines. Unfortunately, a couple of my husband's ancestral towns in the Meuse department of Northeast France suffered damaged and enemy occupation during the war, as well.
I've made two simple worksheets kids can use if they want to write down some basic facts about their ancestors who served in World War I. Click on each image to download a PDF.