By Neil Orford

Coming April 1st 2019 !!

If you cannot take your students to Normandy for ‘Juno75’ this June 6th, then be the History teacher who brings the spirit of ‘Juno75’ into your classroom!

June 6th 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy France, that started the drive to liberate Europe from Nazi oppression – and the Canadian role in Operation Overlord may be among our most enduring ‘Defining Moments’ in Canadian History!

This year thousands of Canadian students will travel to ‘Juno Beach’ to attend ceremonies on June 6th honouring the contributions of our veterans at the Juno Beach Centre – central to where 14 000 + Canadians landed seventy five years ago.  For those students, and their peers who cannot attend, Defining Moments Canada has designed a unique digital commemoration opportunity for Grade 7-12 history / social studies classrooms (in both languages) nationwide

– a project which will:

  • inspire your students to become great digital storytellers
  • engage your class in local history, working with the Museum/Archives/Library or Legion
  • honour the story of a Veteran from your community
  • creatively teach authentic Inquiry skills

‘Juno75 – Above and Beyond’

Juno75: Above and Beyond’ will spotlight the stories of 20 Canadians from across the country

who were involved in the war effort in Normandy and beyond. Drawing from the extensive

interview archive of Testaments of Honour, and hosted on the Defining Moments Canada

website, the goal of this national commemorative project is to inspire young Canadians to

discover the lives of those who participated in one of Canada’s best-known battles. Beyond the

stories of those veterans who landed on Juno Beach, the project also seeks to commemorate

those who continued to serve in the Battle of Normandy, and those whose contributions on the

home front was essential to driving the war effort – and the country – along.

It’s simple:

  • use our innovative Lesson Plans and Inquiry Tools at
  • choose any of the 20 veteran ‘Vignettes’ that inspire you as models for your class
  • learn how to conduct research within your community to locate the perfect Veteran’s story from 1944 – or the story of a Homefront contributor to the D-Day preparations
  • utilize our ‘Great StoryTelling’ and ‘Fact-Finding’ techniques to create and curate that story using our ‘Seven Sentence Story Structure’
  • Submit your commemoration of the story in an appropriate digital medium by May6th

With the generous support of Veterans Affairs Canada, Juno75: Above and Beyond will offer

extensive educational resources designed to guide students in the creation of commemorative

projects that examine the stories of service and sacrifice of these individuals.

“As the Government of Canada marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy this year, we are pleased to support Defining Moments Canada, through the Commemorative

Partnership Program, in this meaningful project to honour the selfless servicemen and women

who served during the Battle of Normandy,” says the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C.,

Q.C., M.P., Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.

“This initiative will connect Canadian youth with the faces and experiences of those who fought for our freedom during the Second World War. It is inspiring to know that these students will be able to learn about the courage, determination and sacrifice of so many brave Canadians and share it with their peers.”

The project will also be supported by extensive contextual research from the Juno Beach Centre


“The Juno Beach Centre Association is excited to partner with Defining Moments

Canada on Juno75: Above and Beyond,” says Mike Bechthold, executive director of the Juno

Beach Centre Association.

“This project, with its focus on telling stories and connecting today’s youth with yesterday’s heroes, forms an integral part of the JBCA’s Juno75 educational offerings.

This is an excellent opportunity for youth across the country to engage in the remembrance and

commemoration of one of Canada’s great defining moments.”

“The 20 Canadians we will be profiling are just the beginning,” says Neil Orford, program leader at Defining Moments Canada.

“We want students to share the stories they discover, so that we can honour these untold stories from unheard voices.”

Join the movement of teachers across Canada to commemorate D-Day and the Battle of Normandy through ‘Juno 75 – Above and Beyond’!

Watch the Defining Moments Canada website for all the details on April 1st 2019!!

For more information, please contact:

Program Leader:                                                                         Program Manager & Media:

Neil Orford                                                                                    Tatiana Zamozdra                                                    

Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada

Contributing Writer