The island of Guernsey in the English Channel celebrates Liberation Day as a public holiday on 9 May each year. The day has special meaning to the people of this small island and for those of the nearby island of Jersey.
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On 9 May in 1945, a UK war ship named Bulldog sailed into Guernsey’s port town of Saint Peter. Germany had just announced its surrender to Allied Forces at the end of World War II, but specific units had to surrender to specific Allied detachments in order for all German-occupied territory to be liberated. Thus, Bulldog entered the harbour in triumph and accepted the surrender of German forces there. They gathered early in the morning onboard the ship for the official surrender ceremony.
The residents of Guernsey broke out into joyful singing. It was quite a sight as they were underfed and in poor shape but had eyes and mouths full of happiness. The people of Guernsey put on official ceremonies and private parties to remember these momentous events of the past. And in nearby Jersey, there is an annual re-enactment of the surrender of the German occupiers to the British liberators, which many come from all corners of the UK to see each year.
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