To mark the days leading up to Remembrance Day, we’ve collected stories of people all across Canada sharing what inspired them to sponsor a Commemorative Brick at the Juno Beach Centre. Through their sponsorship, the Juno Beach Centre has continued to thrive since we first opened in 2003. The Centre has been fortunate to play host to many of our donors and people who have been touched by the impact of war in Europe and at home in Canada.
Please click here for more information on how to sponsor a Commemorative Brick for someone in your family or community.
Our second story comes from Ally Fulmer. Ally and her brother and father visited the Juno Beach Centre, but wanted something special to share with her mother back in Canada.
“In 2010, I was able to move to France. One of the first trips I took while living there was to the Vimy Ridge Memorial in Northern France. My mother then came to visit me and we travelled throughout Northern France and Belgium seeing important sites such as Passchendaele. After this tour, I knew what I needed to see next; Juno Beach. My brother and father then were able to visit me shortly after my mother left and we knew that regardless of what else we did during that week, a tour to Normandy was necessary. After a number of hours driving on the tour bus, seeing many important sites including fields of craters and trenches, our tour bus finally made it to Juno Beach, specific for the few Canadians on the tour.
Stepping off the bus and walking up to the Juno Beach Centre was an overwhelming experience. To see such a beautiful Centre built to remember everyone who put their life directly on the line for us was inspirational. Then we actually walked out on to the sand and I will never be able to explain how that felt. Something takes over you at Juno Beach. The beach is eerie, beautiful, scary, and calming all at the same time; a complete out of body experience full of gratitude, sadness, and peace.
While the three of us were at the Centre, we couldn’t help but to think of how sad my mom was to not be able to be there with us to experience Juno. She has always been the history buff of our family; watching documentary after documentary of the world wars, of how Canada became what it is today. No one is more proud of being Canadian than she is. When I saw that the Juno Beach Centre had a program where you could donate to the Centre for a memorial brick, I knew there was nothing more my mom would like for her birthday. Knowing that there is a brick with her name on it, waiting for her to one day see it in person would mean my parents would make a point of treating themselves to an amazing vacation with a stop to Juno Beach.
I would like to thank the Juno Beach Centre for such a wonderful way to remember all of those who put their life on the line for us so many years ago and for a way to thank all of those who still do, day after day. I can’t wait to return one day and see that brick and feel all of the emotions Juno Beach transcends upon you.”
– Ally Fulmer
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.