City of Portsmouth College students seen with their French counterparts

Our Travel & Tourism students witnessed a historic event when they were invited along to the Flamme de la Liberté welcome ceremony at Portsmouth International Port.

The flame of the French nation from under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, travelled through Portsmouth on its way to Arlington Cemetery in the US to commemorate the 80thAnniversary of D-Day.

Flamme de la Liberté, which means the Freedom Flame, has been burning since 1923 on the tomb of the unknown soldier in Paris.

The flame was carried by the Brittany ferry Galicia and greeted by a guard of honour before being escorted through the Portsmouth International Port by students from France.

Among the guests were Deputy Lord Mayor Gerald Vernon Jackson and Helen Patton (granddaughter of General Patton).

“I feel very special to have been able to witness history like that; it was so nice to see that culture and tradition is still being honoured by young people. You could feel the reverence all around!” said Mikayla Braddock.

Kacey Redman described it as: “A once in a lifetime opportunity! Historic and insightful, something that I can say I went to that.”

Rose Hall commented: “What an honour it was to have been invited to watch the freedom flame arrive in Portsmouth. I had an incredible evening and it’s something I will never forget!”

And Aidan Kwok said: “Such an amazing event to see as to what happens at a D-Day freedom flame ceremony and it was great to know about the history and its importance.”

Jo Chaffin, Curriculum Manager, said: “It was so lovely to see our students welcoming and engaging with the students from France and to hear them share stories.

“The event was wonderfully hosted by the Port and such an amazing opportunity for our Travel & Tourism students to be given the opportunity to be involved.”

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