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.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs