Romeo, Romeo

18 Jan ’07

I’ll confess to more than a little lump in my throat whenever I read something about Roméo Dallaire. For years, after reading Philip Gourevitch’s extraordinary “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda” I read everything I could find on the genocide, until finally I could not tolerate hearing any more about it – I had learned enough of its ugliness and despair, and the insight into the bestiality we are capable of.

What to say about a man who had to live it, and live with the guilt of being left unable to prevent it? It has always seemed to me nothing less than a miracle that this extraordinary man was able to survive his experiences there, and the ordeal that followed him home. How wonderful, then, to see another tribute to Dallaire: “Instead of the usual “bravos,” there were the occasional bursts of “On vous aime Général Dallaire” and, more simply, “Roméo.””


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