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Celebrating stories of Ontarians: André Levesque, Member of the Order of Ontario

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Whenever André Levesque walks by the National War Memorial in his native Ottawa, he lays his hands on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. “My body feels warm and glowing,” he said, “like I’m going through something very emotional. It’s amazing.”

Levesque’s deep personal connection to the monument was sparked when he worked as the project manager for the repatriation of the soldier’s remains. He led the team which chose the unidentified Canadian from a cemetery near Vimy Ridge, had the remains flown over from France, and reinterred them at a ceremony in 2000, attended by some 20,000 people. Shortly thereafter, he project-managed the establishment of the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood in Ottawa, where he is now chief historian. His citation for the Order of Ontario, to which he was appointed in 2020, notes he is a “pioneer of memorialogy, the study of memorials and commemoration.”

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