I had the privilege of visiting the Juno Beach Centre last June, while photographing for dabble magazine.
The experience of travel is always exciting, but nothing prepared me for the emotional reaction I would have visiting the beaches of Normandy and seeing where so many Canadians died. Young men, full of life, dreams and fearless. And then to hear the stories of the survivors, so brave in their survival.
This museum is a special place, created by Veterans for Canadians and the French citizens that formed their community. The stories are incredible and heartwarming, even funny...and of course heartbreaking.
The animators are all Canadian students, the same ages that the men landing were, that day. Nothing I can write can capture the feeling of standing on this beach, looking out into the waters, knowing the events that followed.
I have no veterans in my family. But I understand now that the men who sacrificed on this day are my family.
This museum survives on donations. They also offer an incredible program for Canadian students to work and live on site at the museum for 4 months. The students we met were incredible and wonderful ambassadors, please take a moment to visit it and even consider it as an experience for your children.