“It is touching that the Royal Winnipeg Rifles landed right here in front of the Juno Beach Centre on D-Day. Coming from Winnipeg myself, I can tell you that leaving a dry and freezing cold city to land on another continent, and more precisely on the land of my French ancestors, is a pretty big shock. I can’t imagine this beautiful place ravaged by bombs and grenades. War is an ugly, horrible and sad thing. Here at the Juno Beach Centre, we are talking about the Canadians who have come together to put an end to this atrocity and I am proud to be able to tell you this moving story that is sadly full of losses, but which allowed many people to smile again.”
“It is hard to realize how much of an opportunity being a guide here at the Juno Beach Centre, more importantly during the 75-year anniversary of D-Day, really is. By being part of the major events to crucially change the international community’s perception of Canada, the landings on Juno have become an integral part of Canadian culture. With this said, it is important to not let this event be forgotten in the years to come. I am personally grateful to not only learn and understand the many historic events that took place here on June 6th 1944, but also to be able to share these moments with people from around the world. I look forward to sharing what will undoubtedly be a memorable experience with visitors and veterans on this very special year for both the Centre and Canada alike.”
“My connection with the Juno Beach Centre started 7 years ago when I visited it during a battlefields tour in France. I grew up in Burlington, Ontario and had the opportunity to meet Garth Webb, the founder of the Juno Beach Centre, in March 2012. I am honoured to represent Canada and to have the opportunity to share the events of June 6th, 1944 with visitors from around the world. I am very grateful to all of those who served and I look forward to commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day this year.”
“Having peripherally nursed an interest in the 20th century during my studies, I already knew a bit about the Second World War, but I never quite understood the scale of Canada’s participation. Being a student of Anthropology, it has become very important for me to transmit the human experiences of those who endured the horrors of the war so that people may put themselves in their shoes and truly grasp what it might have been like to live through it. I also love bringing smiles to people’s faces when I give them a warm Canadian greeting! It is a very special time to be in Normandy because this year is the 75th anniversary of D-Day.”
“In Canada, the Second World War left no physical trace, making it difficult for those who weren’t alive at the time to truly realize what happened. Being here in Europe gives me the opportunity the gain a more concrete understanding of that time, and helps me recognize what those people went through. I especially enjoy talking with visitors, as many of them have close personal connections with the war. In return, it is a real pleasure to be able to share my country’s contribution to the Allied war effort.”
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.