Preserving the past

Juno Beach Centre commemorates D-Day legacy.

Written by Jen Sguigna

May 2, 2019

Located in Normandy, France, the Juno Beach Centre is Canada’s only Second World War museum in Europe. The museum opened on June 6, 2003, after a nearly twenty-year fundraising effort led by D-Day veteran Garth Webb (1918–2012) and his partner, Lise Cooper.

Visitors enter the museum through a simulated D-Day landing craft while immersed in sounds and images of the June 6, 1944, assault on Juno Beach. Outside, Canadian student guides offer tours of Juno Park, including excavated portions of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall that are still visible on Juno Beach.

In 2019, the museum unveiled a new youth and family circuit along with interactive interpretive apps. Great Women During the War, 1939–1945, a temporary exhibition developed in partnership with the Canadian War Museum, opened in March 2019. Previous temporary exhibitions have focused on Indigenous Canadians, children’s perspectives of the war, and the national journey of commemoration from Vimy to Juno.

In Canada, the Juno Beach Centre Association, the charity that owns and operates the museum, offers educational and commemorative programming across the country. It also offers an annual Summer Institute and Battlefield Tour for educators and supports a proposal to have the D-Day beaches named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Learn more about how you can support the Juno Beach Centre. For more information on the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day, visit Juno75.ca.

This article originally appeared in the June-July 2019 issue of Canada’s History.

 

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