Minister Fantino Names Major-General (R) Richard Rohmer as D-Day Special Advisor
OTTAWA, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today named Major-General (R) Richard Rohmer as his special advisor on D-Day commemorative events as the Government of Canada prepares for the upcoming 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy on June 6, 2014.
"I am delighted that such a distinguished Veteran is sharing his experience and providing his input to the commemorative activities for D-Day, which many consider was the beginning of the end of the Second World War," said Minister Fantino. "His incredible personal experience and expertise will help to ensure that Canada's Veterans will be recognized and remembered on such an important anniversary."
Major-General Rohmer will join Minister Fantino at an international ministerial seminar on the centennial of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in Paris, France, attended by 23 countries. Discussions will focus on developing a common approach to international ceremonies that will begin in 2014.
Major-General Rohmer, who was a fighter pilot in the Second World War during the Battle of Normandy, has had a distinguished career and has a deep knowledge about Canada's involvement in D-Day. He holds numerous decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Officer of the Order of Canada, Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Knight of the Order of St. John, Order of Ontario, Officer of the Order of Leopold (Belgium), and Knight of the Legion of Honour (France).
On the morning of June 6, 1944, known now as D-Day, Canadian and other Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, supported by some 7,000 vessels and more than 11,500 aircraft. In the months that followed during the Battle of Normandy, more than 115,000 Canadian men and women served in a monumental series of events that would help signal the beginning of the end of the Second World War. More than 5,000 would lay down their lives during the campaign.
Canadians suffered the most casualties of any division in the British Army Group fighting in Normandy. Many made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives, while others returned home with injuries to body and mind.
As one of the most significant military engagements of the 20th century for Canada and for the world, D-Day was a key episode that helped lead to the end of the Second World War.
Veterans Affairs Canada's support and services offer the right care at the right time to achieve the best results for Veterans and their families. Find out more at veterans.gc.ca.
Major-General (R) Richard Rohmer, OC, CMM, DFC, O.Ont., K. StJ, CD, QC, Knight of the Legion of Honour, Chief of Reserves
Major-General (R) Richard Heath Rohmer is a licensed aviator, practicing senior lawyer, senior advisor to business leaders and government, prolific and best-selling author of fiction and non-fiction, historian and one of Canada's most decorated citizens.
Major-General Rohmer was born in Hamilton, Ontario. He enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force on his 18th birthday. He received some training in Canada before being shipped overseas for further training on both Spitfires and Mustangs. He was a fighter reconnaissance pilot during the Second World War, and he took part in the D-Day operations on June 6, 1944, the Falaise Gap, the Battle of Normandy and the Liberation of the Netherlands.
Following his wartime service, he returned to the Royal Canadian Air Force (Reserve), eventually retiring in 1981 as Chief of Reserves of the Canadian Armed Forces. While serving with the Reserves, he attended university in Ontario and, upon graduation, went on to practice law. Major-General Rohmer was called to the Bar in 1951 and became Queen's Counsel in 1960. He continues to practice law as an active senior member of the Toronto law firm of Rohmer & Fenn.
Major-General Rohmer has received several awards throughout his illustrious career, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Commander of the Order of Military Merit, a Member of the Order of Ontario and a Knight of the Legion of Honour (France). The Peterborough Examiner's lead editorial of January 14, 2009, describes MGen Rohmer as "one of Canada's most colourful figures of the past half-century."
Major-General Rohmer chaired the committee that organized and implemented the 60th anniversary of D-Day, both in Normandy and across Canada. As part of this event, Major-General Rohmer arranged for the attendance of the Queen at Juno Beach. His experience at Juno Beach in 2004 will be invaluable in advising the Minister for D-Day 2014.
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