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Driving force behind Juno Beach Memorial Bridge headed to France for Remembrance Day

Amanda Purdy was overwhelmed with emotion on a trip to Juno Beach in 2016 and wanted to honour the soldiers who lost their lives on D-Day.

The pedestrian bridge that spans the Airport Parkway has been renamed the Juno Beach Memorial Bridge, and for the woman behind the idea, it's personal.

After visiting France in 2016 with her family, Amanda Purdy felt she needed to do something to honour those Canadian soldiers buried at the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery near Juno Beach. 

Purdy spoke with Stittsville Councillor Glen Gower about finding something to name in honour of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and after much discussion, the city agreed to rename the Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge.

The renaming ceremony was held on Friday morning, just hours before Purdy was slated to catch a flight to France. 

"I've been invited to speak at the Remembrance Day ceremony," Purdy explained. "I am the Canadian represenative speaking at Juno Beach this year." 

Purdy brought along an extra piece of luggage for her trip to Normandy, a Canadian flag suitcase filled with extra special cargo.

"I have 2,048 signed flags from students and I am personally delivering them to Normandy to be placed on the tombs of the fallen soldiers."

She explained that being asked to speak at the annual Remembrance Day ceremony was an honour. 

"I'm humbled. I'm really doing this for the veterans, I'm doing it for the youth," said Purdy. "We need to keep the youth engaged in such an important part of history." 


Jenn Pritchard

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