15 Dec Whitley Academy’s 2021 Remembrance Day
By: Cam-Ron-Year 9 Student reporter, edited by Mrs Nguyen
At the annual 11th hour of 11th November, the Commonwealth participates in a two-minute silence to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives during conflicts for us and our future.
In our school we did exactly just that and this year Remembrance Day took place on a Thursday.
Miss Savage (our Assistant Head-Teacher) organised the event.
At 10:45 am on a clear and mild day, staff and students gathered on the quad. All stood in respectful silence, and listened to a powerful reading of ‘For the Fallen’ by Robert Laurence Binyon. After this, ‘The Last Post’ rang from the tannoy, triggering a two minute silence. None spoke, and all stood up straight in quiet contemplation: remembering those who sacrificed their lives for us.
Jamie, Lily-Ann and I (all year 9), were selected to recite the world renounced poem to the whole school. Here is our reflections:
“I like the thought of remembrance as it brings to life the sacrifices that were made for us. It is a nice way for the people of today to realize how much was given up for us.”
“I feel like wars will never end as there will always be someone who wants power and will not care who gets hurt on their path to victory. This is how innocents get hurt.”
Some words from the teachers who organised the memorial:
Miss Savage (Assistant Headteacher) :
“Organising Remembrance Day, is a special thing for me as I feel so strongly about remembering all those who have given their lives for us in some way or another. This started when I was 15 and I started attending the parade in Birmingham city centre to watch my grandad march on parade. My grandad was at war in Burma during the 2nd World War, and they are often referred to as the ‘forgotten Army’ – They were fighting against the Japanese. This was a tough campaign and the conditions they had to endure were awful. Their war continued after the war ended with Germany and while everyone was celebrating here in England, many forgot about the troops that were still fighting a war, so far away from home. From the day I watched my grandad and his comrade’s march, I made a promise to myself that I would ensure the ‘forgotten army’ are never forgotten. I felt the whole process went really well and was extremely proud of the whole school! It is a shame we couldn’t have got more of the local community in to witness the whole process and see Whitley at its best!”
Miss Nguyen (Head of Student Reporters):
“Wars are product of humans and have destroyed too many lives, the young, old and innocents. I always take it seriously, the moments I stand there, in the crowds and by myself, to remember the fallen, the dead, the loss of lives and memories which have been passed from generation to generation. We can’t change history, but we learn from it, and should try to keep our world as peaceful as possible. I personally think that wars are the product of hate and jealousy. If we could all learn to love and respect each other then we could attain peace. If we thought of others then we would minimize damage.”
And finally Mrs MacLean – Head of Arts Department:
“Once all the flags were flying in the quad I felt so proud of what the year 7 and 8 students had achieved. There are about 200 flags flying and each one is different! It was lovely to hear from the students that they had searched for ‘their flag’ and were delighted that it was flying for all to see.”
For The Fallen
…”They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them…”
Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)