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Back to Juno Beach for Centre opening

The Story

It was 59 years ago, and Stan Crezer still has vivid memories of D-Day. But memories are tricky things: he's talked with two fellow regiment men and the three can't agree exactly where they landed. They're in Courseulles-sur-Mer for the opening of the Juno Beach Centre, a new museum commemorating Canadians at war. It's Crezer's third time back to Juno Beach, but he's no misty-eyed veteran. "I can't see where war has helped anything," he tells Sounds Like Canada. 

Medium: Radio
Program: Sounds Like Canada
Broadcast Date: June 6, 2003
Guest: Stan Crezer
Host: Bernard St. Laurent
Duration: 11:52

Did You know?

• In 2001, when the Juno Beach Centre was still raising construction funds, veterans came forward to demand more support from the Canadian government. The vets themselves had raised nearly $1 million, France had pledged $1 million and the Wal-Mart retail chain kicked in $1.5 million, but the Canadian government's contribution was $250,000. The centre still needed another $2 million to complete the project.
• By May 2003 the Canadian government had contributed $2.75 million to the Juno Beach Centre, while the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia each donated $1 million. Other jurisdictions donated amounts from $5,000 to $100,000.
• The Juno Beach Centre opened on June 6, 2003. It is open year-round except for the month of January. Admission is 6.5 euros, or about $11 Cdn; it is free to veterans of the Second World War and their widows.
• Slightly inland in Normandy is the village of Reviers, site of the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. In it are the graves of 2,043 Canadians who died on D-Day and in the subsequent Normandy campaign.
• Veterans Affairs Canada doesn't keep records on how many D-Day veterans are still alive. However, it estimates that of one million Canadians who served in the Second World War, 270,000 are still living as of 2004.



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