Lethbridge Military Museum unveils new virtual reality exhibit to honour D-Day

The Lethbridge Military Museum unveiled a new VR exhibit and model of Juno beach in honour of D-Day. Global News

This year marks 75 years since Canadians landed on Juno Beach during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, so the Lethbridge Military Museum is stepping up its game to introduce a brand new exhibit.

It features an intricately designed and 3D-printed model of Juno Beach — tiny soldiers included — and a virtual reality experience that sends the viewer right onto the beach with narration about the war and letters from veterans.

READ MORE: Interactive: Explore D-Day sites as they appeared 75 years ago, and today

Valour Canada commissioned the VR software as an initiative to get students fully immersed in Canada’s military history.

Veteran observes the model of Juno Beach at the Lethbridge Military Museum.. Global News
Tiny model soldiers 3D printed for the new exhibit at the Lethbridge Military Museum. Global News

“We tried to replicate the environment so that when the kids take off the headset, they’ve learned what it was like, they’ve learned what the veterans experienced,” said Peter Boyle, Valour Canada’s president.

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“They’re able to better understand why we go to war and why we don’t go to war. They learn about the Canadian values we stand up for.”

READ MORE: Lethbridge College announces virtual reality research chair

Though Lethbridge has been on the map for a while with VR gaming and college programs, this experience is something a little different.

“The object is to teach the history. You’re listening to veterans tell their stories, you’re listening to diary entries, you’re staying on the physical beaches. It’s not violent, it’s not gory, but it’s a better look at what they experienced.”

The exhibit is on until Dec. 11, 2019.

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