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Remembering the Massacres

Heroes Remember

Remembering the Massacres

Large numbers of people who had been massacred. There were so many. I mean it’s well established now that there was between 800,0000 to a million people were killed in a matter of months. And the majority of that, even if you take the lesser number of 800,000 all of those murders were committed by less than 5,000 people. So, I mean my mind starts to get clogged up pretty quickly with trying to think about that. Five thousand people killed more than 800,000 and majority of those were hacked to death. Just the logistics of killing that many people had to be physically exhausting. But, I mean it just doesn’t make sense to us. There’s no way that a rational person can hoist that in and say, “Well okay, that’s okay!” It’s not. So with the amount of bodies and so on that were around, there were so many that most of got fairly adapt at being able to tell by the smell if the bodies were a couple of days old, a couple of weeks old, a month old or whatever. So cause the smell changes as the bodies decompose. So you could get out of your vehicle and smell the air and you’d say yeah, there’s some around here. And within reason you could kind of tell if there was going to be two, or three, or 50. So the smell will always, always, be with me. It doesn’t matter if I live to be a thousand, that’s sort of the thing, there’s no way that you can prepare any soldiers for at all. I mean, nobody can train and prepare their soldiers for that.

Mr. Deveau provides some devastating numbers of the many massacres in Rwanda and how the smells of what was witnessed remain with him today.

Jerry Deveau

Mr. Jerry Deveau was born in Middleton, Nova Scotia on November 20, 1950. Looking for excitement, Mr. Deveau believed he was up for a reasonable challenge in life and decided to join the Canadian Forces. Mr. Deveau joined the Army and after going through a personnel selection unit held occupation of Combat Engineer. In 1990, Mr. Deveau participated in his first operational tour to Pakistan and in 1994 accepted another tour to Rwanda as Chief Warrant Officer. At the end of his military career, Mr. Deveau held rank of Major. Mr. Deveau became employed as a Peer Support Coordinator with the OSISS (Occupational Stress Injury Social Support) program, a federal government network that provides support for military personnel returning to civilian life. Mr. Deveau resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick with his family.

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Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Jerry Deveau
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

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