JEP Opinion: Thank God!

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AT LAST the day has come for which we have so long and anxiously waited. We in Jersey are free.

The troops of occupation are still on the island, communication with England is not fully restored, but the fighting on the Continent is ended – the War in earnest is over – and these are the things that count; other details will be adjusted in the course of time.

For some days it has been evident that, as one speaker graphically described it 'this war was fast drawing to its untidy end',' and a wave of expectancy, growing in intensity, has swept the island.

News of surrender after surrender began to come through from Italy and then in Germany, but whilst we naturally rejoiced, we waited with intense longing for the news of the liberation of Channel Islands.

For nearly five years we had been separated from loved ones and severed from associations which were very dear to us. Is it surprising that we yearned intensely for that freedom and liberty to which we have so long been accustomed and now the word has come. What is our reaction? First and foremost. Gratitude. Fervent and sincere gratitude.

Let us thank the most merciful God who has brought the people of this little island so safely through the greatest and most terrible war the world has ever known. Destruction and sorrow have stalked the countries of Europe, the angel of death has swept pitilessly through the land and our motherland has not been immune, but we in Jersey have come through practically unscathed.

We know that there are homes mourning the loss of a loved one, of a gallant father, brother or son who gave his life that others might live. All honour to them; may their names live forever in our memory.

We owe them a debt we shall never be able to repay but the toll of life taken from this island is comparatively small and the greatest troubles of the majority of the islanders have been those incidental to the Occupation. Jersey has indeed cause to be thankful.

May this generation never forget the blessings bestowed upon it. In this connection we should not be unmindful of the debt that we owe to our Bailiff and to those under him who have stood between the population and the Occupying Authority and have so devoutly served the interests of the community during these difficult years.

Let us show our appreciation for our blessings by concentrating our efforts on making this island the earthly paradise which it might well be. In our way we should play a small but significant part in making that new and better World Order which the great nations are now setting themselves to build.

With the hope in our heart we conclude with a fervent 'Thank God' to the Almighty, who has restored our freedom and liberty and brought Peace again to a war-weary Europe.

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