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Reflections from Roméo A. Dallaire on Remembrance Day

‘It is essential to understand what veterans are going through,’ says the retired lieutenant-general
November 11, 2022

As people around the world commemorate Remembrance Day on November 11, Lt. Gen. Roméo A. Dallaire (ret.), LLD 13, reflects on what the day means for him.

“It’s essential for the population and the country to demonstrate recognition, but it’s also essential that they understand what those veterans are going through,” says Dallaire.

The humanitarian, author, lecturer and former senator served the Canadian Armed Forces in various positions across North America, Europe and Africa. Dallaire was appointed commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda before and during the 1994 genocide, which claimed more than 800,000 lives. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general in 1998. 

Dallaire is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Concordia’s Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and the author of three books: Shake Hands with the Devil: the Failure of Humanity in RwandaWaiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD, and They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers.

For his service to Canada and abroad, Dallaire has been named to the Order of Canada, National Order of Quebec was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross, the Pearson Medal of Peace and the United States Legion of Merit, among many others.

He was also awarded Concordia’s Loyola Medal — the university’s highest non-academic honour — in 2006 and received an honorary degree in 2013.

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