Friday, 6 November 2009

U.S. Media Tribute to Highway of Heroes

I posted this to my YouTube page last year. With Remembrance Day right around the corner I thought I'd re-post it to my blog. It's rare that U.S. Media pays much attention to goings on in Canada unless it has something to do with their own country. Well, the Highway of Heroes, a portion of Highway 401 between Trenton and Toronto, Ontario, caught their attention. (The video is dated. As of this posting Canada has lost 133 soldiers in Afghanistan. You can see a listing of the losses here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/afghanistan/casualties/list.html).

This portion of the highway got its name to pay tribute to Canada's fallen soldiers. Why this stretch of highway you may ask? Trenton, Ontario is the home of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, where Canada's military departs for and arrives from overseas deployments. When a Canadian soldier is killed overseas they are brought back here and then they are escorted to the Ontario Coroner's Office in Toronto.

Canada doesn't shy away from making these deaths public knowledge, and, with each death, they sadly announce when the soldier is going to make their final arrival back to Canada. To pay tribute to the loss the Canadian military holds a ramp ceremony and then the soldier is loaded into a hearse for the trip to Toronto. The hearse and the family then receive a police escort down Highway 401 all the way to the coroner's office in Toronto. Along the route many Canadians will line the highway and the bridges over the highway. Local police, firemen, and ambulances, along with vets from the Legion or The Army, Navy and Airforce veterans come out to salute the fallen. It doesn't matter what the weather is like, be it a hot sunny day or a cold rainy/snow filled day, they all come out to pay tribute.




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