On 9 May 2020, it will be 75 years since Jersey was liberated at the end of the Second World War. German forces occupied the Channel Islands for five years and Liberation Day is not only a time of remembrance, when we can reflect on the hardships that our island community endured, but it is also an opportunity for celebration. It is particularly significant this year, as we mark Liberation Day during lockdown.
We had planned to celebrate Liberation 75 in a very special way at St Michael’s; we had our bunting ready and our cross-curricular themed day was to end with an afternoon tea of sandwiches and scones on the front lawn. Imagine, if you will, a sunny day, flags, costumes, a parade of military vehicles and Glen Miller’s ‘Big-Band’ providing the ambiance.
Whilst this year’s celebration will be very different to what we had planned, we have been encouraging the children to learn about the Occupation through our online learning programme. History lessons have been provided and we have also asked the students to reflect on what freedom means to them. Charlie Cosnett in Year 2L made the following observations;
FREEDOM is …
Having fun whilst playing games,
Listening to the birds sing sweetly,
Smelling sizzling sausages on the braai,
Licking a melting ice cream in the sunshine,
Splashing in a warm swimming pool,
Laughing uncontrollably at a funny joke,
Baking gooey chocolate cake for dad’s birthday,
Dancing and clapping to the beat,
Painting a colourful rainbow,
Playing cricket in the garden,
Feeling the breeze as I cycle by,
Creating happy memories with my family.
Freedom is thinking and doing what you want with love, laughter and smiles.
By Charlie – Year 2
Charlie’s passage also gives us perspective, as he was quick to add that he feels free to do these things, even though he is unable to leave his home. This week we will reflect on the Occupation and Liberation of Jersey and, as we face this current crisis, we look to the resilience, determination and stoicism of our forbearers for inspiration.
We are incredibly proud of the way that the St Michael’s community has come together at this difficult time. We hope that we will see you very soon to celebrate but until then, we send you our very best wishes