Michael Rioux, a francophone teacher from Êcole Secondaire Catholique Sainte-Famille, met with Janine Adjaj at la maison des Canadiens. Of the experience he says: “The emphasis is often put on the experiences of the soldiers, but in hearing the stories of a woman who was 16 in 1944, a simple story like this really made me understand the point to which these people were incredibly strong. I feel very grateful to the French civilians. There are links that exist between the French and French Canadians; our history is connected. We are French Canadians because of the French who came to Canada and then returned to Normandy centuries later. But it’s here, on Juno, that I can truly feel this for the first time. Regardless of whether or not we have a family member who served in this war , it’s here in Normandy that we see what our country accomplished, and that we understand the endurance of the generation that came before us. “
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.