D-Day 75: Remembering the Anniversary

D-Day 75: Remembering the Anniversary

On June 6, 1944, Canadian, British, and American forces made history as 156,000 soldiers landed on five beaches along 80 kilometres of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy Region. This was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history, and marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War.

In June 2019, Canadian youth and educators from across the country gathered together in France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day—along with veterans, locals, and world leaders. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

As a history trip, there could be no better learning experience. EF worked hard to make sure that the students understood why they were there.

Alfredo B., educator, ON

Students gained a new perspective on history and their place in it as they connected with the local community and participated in ceremonies.

Students gained a new perspective on history and their place in it as they connected with the local community and participated in ceremonies.

The Ceremony

Thousands of EF travellers. Hundreds of French citizens. People from all over the world. The commemorative ceremony was an exceptional, moving presentation that payed tribute to the Allied men and women who landed in Normandy 75 years ago and who fought throughout the long summer that followed.

Because of our close relationship with Veterans Affairs Canada, EF travellers were able to have an exclusive section at the ceremony, with a separate viewing screen, so that they wouldn’t miss a moment. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and some of our students and cadets—along with school children from the region—were invited to participate in the opening procession to represent the 359 Canadian soldiers who lost their lives on Juno Beach during the Normandy Landings. They carried flowers and military boots, and each wore a dog tag with the name of the soldier they represented in the march. It helped put in perspective the sacrifices of the Allied soldiers while providing our travellers a memory they’ll have forever.

I was impressed with the overall organization and forethought in planning that went into the tour.  The places we saw were excellent, and the Juno Beach ceremony was touching, moving, and historic in its own right.

Dino Z., educator, ON

EF Tours Canada has proudly collaborated with the Juno Beach Centre to bring historical program and experience to life. The itineraries are designed just for our tour groups —only for EF Tours Canada travellers.

EF Tours Canada has proudly collaborated with the Juno Beach Centre to bring historical program and experience to life. The itineraries are designed just for our tour groups —only for EF Tours Canada travellers.

The EF Hub

For D-Day 75, the EF Hub was created in Courseulles-sur-Mer, home to Juno Beach. Activities included making sand bottles and tote bags to take home, writing walls where students and cadets could reflect on what D-Day 75 meant to them, and, of course, a chance to relax and take a moment to meet fellow students from all across Canada. Group Leaders seemed to love our educator lounge, where they could connect with other educators take a quick break before experiencing what the EF Hub had to offer.

D-Day and Technology

Created by EF with our partner SimWave, the augmented reality experience at the EF Hub in Courseulles-sur-Mer brought a veteran’s story to life. Jack Port landed with American Soldiers on Utah beach—and through AR, students heard from him about his experiences on that fateful day, and explored letters, pictures, and videos for an even more in-depth perspective of the Normandy Landings.

Now this was pretty epic.

Anton, traveller, AB

Celebrate Victory in Europe

Give your students the opportunity to attend VE Day 75—a celebration of Canada’s relationship with the Dutch people and a commemoration of the end of the Second World War.

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