Amanda Purdy

Amanda Purdy is a Canadian citizen with no direct or family connection to the military. This has not stopped her from being a champion for recognition and remembrance of those who have bravely served our country in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. This year, Amanda is working in her community and with local schools to raise awareness of the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

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Amanda Purdy

Before 2016, Amanda and her family didn’t know how truly life changing a visit to Normandy, France and more specifically Juno Beach, could be. During this trip, she was moved by the powerful stories of Veterans who served in D-Day and the Battle of Normandy and found a desire to advocate for the on-going commemoration of Veterans in her hometown of Ottawa.

In 2016, Amanda, her husband, and her two young daughters took a family vacation to France. During their time, they visited historic war memorials and participated in a ceremony held at a Canadian cemetery. This ceremony had a special connection to Canadian students – a school in Ontario had encouraged their students to write personal messages of gratitude to the fallen soldiers buried in France. There were 2048 messages in total.

“To be standing on the very ground where it all happened, where so many lives were lost, made a lifelong impact on our family.”

At the end of this ceremony, every individual in attendance was given a stack of Canadian flags with these hand-written messages. They were then asked to place a flag on each grave marker. “This was an absolutely moving experience and I can honestly say, it forever changed our family and our respect for what our military does, and the Veterans and the sacrifices they made.”

During their time in France, the family also visited Juno Beach and the Juno Beach Center. Amanda was truly moved by this experience as well, “The Centre has something for every age to interact with. To have my young girls engaged to learn about D‑Day and the significance of Juno Beach was remarkable. To be standing on the very ground where it all happened, where so many lives were lost, made a lifelong impact on our family.”

“We decided to name our new dog Juno”.

Following the trip, the family continued to be moved by their time in Normandy, France and their gratitude for those who served. It was so powerful, in fact, Amanda explained, “We decided to name our new dog Juno”. When asked about the name, Amanda uses the opportunity to educate other children and youth about Juno Beach and D-Day.

Amanda has her sights set on a new mission thanks to this experience. She is working with local schools to create an awareness campaign about this important moment in Canadian history. She also wishes to re-create the messages of gratitude and involve all of the schools in Ottawa.

Along with raising awareness for children and youth, Amanda is also actively pursuing having a street re-named in Ottawa to honour veterans who served in the Second World War.  

Amanda Purdy is one of our Faces of Freedom for the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. She is demonstrating how every Canadian can honour the memory of those who sacrificed themselves for our peace and freedom in their own way.


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