Beaverbrook Vimy Prize Blog – 20 August 2018

Today, our 2018 BVP recipients visited the Juno Beach Centre where they received an excellent tour of Juno Park from Vincent. Later, they visited Arromanches, the Mulberry Harbour, and the Canadian Garden at the Caen Memorial. To finish the day, the group spent the evening at the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada (Canada House). (Please note: students will blog in their language of preference).

Aujourd’hui, nous avons visité plusieurs endroits historiques liés à la Bataille de Normandie. J’ai particulièrement apprécié le tour des bunkers, en plus de notre visite au Centre Juno Beach. Durant le tour des Bunkers, j’ai eu l’opportunité de voir ceux-ci en personne, c’était impressionnant de se trouver où les soldats allemands commandaient et observaient l’ennemi, car je pouvais voir des sites historiques ayant bravés le temps. J’ai également été surprise d’apprendre qu’un des bunkers avait été découvert récemment, il y a environ 8 ans. Apprendre cela m’a fait réfléchir: si les humains découvrent encore, de nos jours, des objets et lieux historiques, allons-nous continuer à en retrouver ? Par la suite, au musée canadien, Centre Juno Beach, le film intitulé Dans leurs pas m’a le plus marqué de l’ensemble des visites présentés dans l’endroit: il affichait des images des Canadiens lors du Jour J et durant la Bataille de Normandie. Pour moi, voir des représentations visuelles des évènements historiques de cet endroit était plus touchant que lire de l’information sur le sujet, puisque je pouvais me mettre momentanément dans la peau des soldats durant la Bataille de Normandie et ainsi imaginer ce qu’il aurait pu vivre à l’époque. Cette journée a donc été remplie de découvertes historiques intrigantes pour moi !

Laetitia Champenois Pison, Montreal QC

 

Today we had a tour at the Juno Beach Centre and our tour guide, Vincent, was amazing. He explained things in ways that were very easy to understand and you could tell he was very passionate about what he was talking about. One thing I learned from him was that the Atlantic Wall is portrayed a lot differently than how it really was. It is usually explained as a long wall going across the coast that absolutely no one could get through. Vincent explained it as a rope with knots in it. The knots were the bunkers on the coast. I think that is a very good way of putting it because the coast was heavily armed and defended but it was not a solid unbreakable wall. It was also an amazing experience to be on the beach and see the geography of it all. It made it much clearer in my mind. I’ve seen pictures hundreds of times but nothing can compare to seeing it in real life. 

Cassidy Choquette, Steinbach MB 

 

Today we visited Juno beach and its educational centre, which was very interesting. The first thing we did was a tour of two German bunkers, the first of which was from 1940 and had many weak points and flaws as at the time of building the threat of an allied invasion was minimal and wasn’t taken too seriously whereas the second was built in 1943 and was far superior due to the growing possibility of the British Invasion. It was interesting to see how the bunkers differed and I learnt a lot about other tactical defences at Juno beach. After the bunkers we went to the centre which was very informative and it was amazing to learn about Canada’s role on D-Day since, being from Scotland we aren’t taught much about other countries’ role in the Wars, so it was eye-opening, not only today, but throughout the whole program, to learn how much they contributed to both World Wars.

Gordon Simpson, Edinburgh Scotland