Dag Hammarskjöld Medal
The official description, eligibility, criteria, and history of the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Medal is presented by the United Nations to the families of those who gave their lives in the service of the United Nations.
Eligibility and criteria
Awarded posthumously to all personnel of military, police, or civilian components of United Nations peacekeeping operations who have lost their lives during service with such operations.
A clear colourless lead glass crystal ellipsoid approximately 73 mm wide, 57 mm deep and 38 mm thick, grit blasted with the name and date of death of the recipient on the top, the United Nations logo on the bottom, and the inscriptions “THE DAG HAMMARSKJÖLD MEDAL – IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE” and “MEDAILLE DAG HAMMARSKJÖLD – AU SERVICE DE LA PAIX” on either sides.
This award is not intended to be worn.
The Medal, created by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi A. Annan on 22 July 1997 to mark the 50th anniversary of peacekeeping operations, was named after Secretary-General Dag Hammarsjöld, who died in the service of the United Nations when the plane in which he was travelling crashed on 18 September 1961 while visiting the UN mission in the Congo. The first three medals were presented by the Secretary-General at a special United Nations General Assembly meeting on 6 October 1998. The medals presented on that occasion were the medal for the family of Dag Hammarskjöld himself; the medal for the family of the first peacekeeper to lose his life in a UN operation, French Commandant de Labarrière, who was killed by a landmine in Palestine on 6 July 1948, and the medal for the family of Count Folke Bernadotte, UN Mediator in Palestine, who was assassinated in Jerusalem on 17 September 1948.
With over one hundred medals, Canada is the country that has paid the highest price in human life in the service of the United Nations over the last 50 years of peacekeeping operations. The Secretary-General presented one symbolic medal to each of the ambassadors representing countries that have lost personnel on UN missions. For Canada, the Medal of Acting Brigadier Harry Herbert Angle, DSO, ED, was presented to our Canadian Ambassador to the UN, Paul Heinbecker, on 29 April 2002. Brigadier Angle was the first Canadian to die while serving the UN. He was killed in an airplane accident on 17 July 1950 while serving as Chief Military Observer in Kashmir on the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
Following this initial presentation, the medals were forwarded to the Directorate of Honours and Recognition (DH&R) for presentation co-ordination. Nearly 80 medals have already been presented to families in ceremonies conducted across the country, but DH&R is seeking assistance to locate recipient’s family members to complete the other presentations. If you know the whereabouts of any surviving relative of the following recipients, please contact DH&R toll free at 1-877-741-8332.
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