Sr High German Students Celebrate German-American Heritage Month

October is recognized and celebrated as German-American Heritage Month. On Saturday, September 11, six Rockford Lutheran Sr High German students attended a very special Oktoberfest block party in downtown Freeport, Illinois, along with their German teacher, Darryl Mertz and his wife, Marika. This event marked the 100th anniversary of the German family-owned business, Luecke Jewelers, as well as the 92nd birthday of retired owner, Charlie Luecke. Darryl Mertz joined Charlie’s sons, Bernie and Chuck, in celebrating Charlie’s birthday by hoisting him in his chair while singing the German birthday song, “Hoch soll er/es leben!”

Oktoberfest is an annual German festival that originated on October 12, 1810 in Munich, Germany to celebrate the wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. German students at Rockford Lutheran School who participated in the Freeport Oktoberfest were given the opportunity to connect with the German culture through music, dance, food, and socialization. This event also supported Rockford Lutheran’s CORE Value of Harmony, exposing students to cultural diversity in a way that encourages understanding, respect, and trust between cultures.

When asked about this experience, Darryl Mertz responded with, “Das hat Spass gemacht!” (That was fun!)