‘From Vimy to Juno’ focuses on role in 1917’s Vimy Ridge battle and the 1944 Juno Beach invasion
A new exhibit is on display at the P.E.I. Regimental Museum in Charlottetown that focuses on Canada’s contribution to the First and Second World Wars.
The travelling exhibit, created by the Juno Beach Association in partnership with Heritage Canada, has been touring the country for the past two years. Called “From Vimy to Juno,” it’s full of pictures, stories and facts to help people understand what it was like for those serving Canada during wartime.
The displays focus on Canada’s role in the battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917 and the Juno Beach invasion in 1944.
“A number of Islanders participated in the D-day landings, two Islanders were killed on D-Day and there were a number killed a few days after D-Day as well, so a very important part of P.E.I.’s military history and Canada’s military history,” said Lt.-Col. Glenn Moriarity, commanding officer of the Prince Edward Island Regiment.
The exhibit highlights what it was like to be a soldier and the ways in which those who served continue to be remembered today.
“I hope that Islanders get a full appreciation of what Canadians have done in both the First and Second Wars, and particularly what Islanders have done, and the sacrifices that were made so we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today,” Moriarity said.
For anyone with a connection to these battles, the exhibit offers the chance to remember and reflect.
“Everyone knows we are losing so many of our veterans every year, and those stories aren’t getting out, great to see the reservists here doing this great job of getting this display up, it’s wonderful,” said Joyce Phillips, the daughter of a Second World War veteran.
Her father, Lea Birch, fought on Juno Beach. He was like many veterans — he didn’t talk a lot about what happened overseas. The exhibit, she said, offers new insights for those living today into what it was like to fight in a war.
“They could get a better understanding of what these men did when they were overseas but also what they did when they came back, what they contributed,” she said.
The exhibit is free to the public and will be on display for the next six weeks.