As we approach the 75th Anniversary of the Juno Beach landings, we will be highlighting key dates and events that relate to upcoming educational experiences available with EF for students, cadets, and history enthusiasts. This month, we reflect on how young men and women began preparing for a journey that would change the course of Canada’s history forever.
December 10th 1939 – a monumental day in Canadian history and Canada’s involvement in the Second World War. This is the day the first Canadian troop convoy set sail for England. This is also the day the RCMP contingent set sail for Europe to serve as military police during World War II. On this day, Canadians did not know what lay ahead of them, or how long this War would last. While everyone hopes for the best when entering the unknown, it is never possible to comprehend how events will unfold.
As we know, after this date in Canada’s history, the war continued on for nearly six years. The entire nation of Canada was involved, whether on the ground overseas or back home, affected by the wars effects on the work and once flourishing farming industry. Canada’s participation in this war was critical to the victory that was attained as nations came together – by 1945 Canada was officially the fourth largest producer of manufactured war material, and fifth largest navy worldwide. On land, sea, and air, Canada proved courageous and became one of the most powerful nations in the world.
While nothing can compare to the choices and sacrifices Canadians made on this day in 1939, we find ourselves making connections to this time in history, and continuing to view our great nation as courageous and brave every day. We remember and reflect, we study Canada’s involvement in the war, and we visit the historic sites Canadians fought on in hopes for a harmony and peace among nations.
All of these reasons are why we at EF believe in the value and importance of educating our students and experiencing these historic sites first hand. When 8,000 people travelled to Europe with a red EF jacket and blue backpack for The 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April of 2017, no one knew what experiences and lessons lay ahead of them but returned home with a newfound appreciation for our past and an even deeper connection to Canada’s role in the war.
Now, as we approach the 75th Anniversary of D-Day we encourage our travellers to consider being part of another special historic event. After partnering with the Juno Beach Centre and offering exclusive programming for our travellers to leave their mark with an engraved titanium brick, we are hoping to give more and more students the opportunity to connect with Canada’s past.
Our preceding generations and ancestors experienced the war and Canada’s place in it as events unfolded, many made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation – it is now up to us and generations to come to keep their memory alive and continue to remember.
Standing on Juno Beach 75 years after our troops did, is an experience that we at EF feel strongly about sharing. If you do too, we encourage you to get in touch to organize a Historic Event tour and inspire your students, and future students to continue to do the same.