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The day I'll always remember

Memorable days, with reference to the 70th anniversary of VE Day

by Gordon Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To think about memorable days and what makes them special; can be used as a Remembrance Day assembly. (This assembly is not yet copy edited)

Preparation and materials

  • Have available the short film ‘The day I’ll always remember’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 1.17 minutes long. http://tinyurl.com/qbkaq75
  • If using in 2015, you may choose to tie this in to the 70th anniversary of VE Day. Particular reference is made to this in section 2 and in the Time for Reflection.

Assembly

1. Show the above clip and ask for reactions to the story. Why did Mr George ‘cry his heart out’ after the attack? Why will he always remember this day?

Listen to a range of responses

2. Point out that Mr George came close to dying in his story but due to his quick thinking, covering himself with cabbage leaves, he survived.
Explain that this story is especially meaningful this year as Mr. George and people all over the UK and Europe celebrated and remembered VE Day, which took place 70 years ago. Ask if any of the pupils know what VE stands for.

Explain that Victory in Europe (VE) Day marked the end of the Second World War in Europe in 1945. Friday 8th May 2015 was the official 70th anniversary of VE Day. VE Day is another day that many people will never forget as it marked the end of a terrible war in Europe, though there was still fighting in Japan until later that year.

3. Mr George’s memorable day was one of great danger followed by relief at still being alive. Point out that this is one type of memorable day although hopefully no one present will experience such a day! However there are many other sorts of memorable days; perhaps because they are very happy, or sad days; or just days that seem important to us for some reason. If appropriate give an example of a memorable day from your own life.

4. Ask the pupils for examples of memorable days which they have experienced. These could be the day they won (or lost!) a competition; starting or finishing at a school or club; moving to a new area; making a breakthrough in a project such as playing a musical instrument or appearing in a play or dance production. Some memorable days are happy and some are sad. Each of us will have our own experiences and our own reactions to them. There are as many different sorts of memorable days as there are different sorts of people.

5. If using the film as part of a Remembrance assembly, remind the pupils that Mr George and many like him who have been involved in wars and conflicts, have shown great bravery and resourcefulness (quick thinking).  Yet despite the difficult things they have been through, they can still be positive and cheerful. Some people however find it difficult to adjust to everyday life because of their experiences. The days we remember can affect each of us in different ways.

Time for reflection

Spend a few moments in silence thinking about Mr George and all that he went through.

Optional : As we remember Victory in Europe, 70 years ago, let’s spend a few moments thinking of all those who fought, and especially those who died or were injured in the Second World War, both soldiers and civilians.

Mr. George’s story reminds us that we all have special days that will stay with us forever.
We don’t know when they will come or what they will be.
What special days can you remember?
Is there anything you can do to make today special for someone else?

Publication date: November 2015   (Vol.17 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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