On Monday 27January 2020 Walton High marked Holocaust Memorial Day. This year was particularly significant as it marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau where over a million people lost their lives.
Holocaust Memorial Day is the day for everyone to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust as well as the subsequent genocides across the world such as those in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia.
During the tutor period Year 7 and Year 8 examined and learnt about the Holocaust and the reasons behind it. They reviewed personal testimonies and thought about the emotions that fuelled such an event. They followed this up by contributing to the memorial flame, which is a tangible symbol of Walton High’s commitment to commemorating the Holocaust and other genocides across the world.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust encouraged schools across the country to commemorate the Holocaust and the memorial flame theme for 2020 was about standing together. Students in Year 7 and Year 8 were set the task of identifying suitable words for our school flame that directly counteracted the feelings of hatred, racism and prejudice that fuelled the Holocaust. Some of the words suggested by the students were ‘love’, ‘peace’ and ‘friendship’. We used these words as the building blocks for our flame.
One Year 7 pupil was particularly moved by the Memorial Day and contributed a poem which encapsulates some of the themes examined during the day.
The Wire Fence
The clouds were dark across the sky
But still the fence stayed high.
A swallow sung to the top of its lung
But still the barrier hung.
Some men yelled and yelled and yelled,
But still the fence held.
A distant wind blew
But the fence stayed like new.
But then a light appeared,
But still the fence persevered.
This light grew stronger and stronger,
But still the fence stayed for longer.
Until the fence of wire,
Grew tired of this almighty fire.
And the men, women, children alike had finished the almighty hike for peace.