There’s a stretch of the highway in Southern Ontario that’s been dubbed the Highway of Heroes because it’s the route fallen soldiers are transported from the Trenton, Ont., base to the Toronto coroner’s office.
Yesterday, on the way to a friend’s son’s concert, I just happened to get on the roadway just before the motorcade carrying the body Private Kevin McKay, 24, was scheduled to come along.
The 24-year-old is Canada’s most recent casualty in Afghanistan. He was only two days from completing his tour and heading home when he was killed. An improvised explosive device detonated during his night patrol southwest of Kandahar city.
I’ve read a lot about the Highway of Heroes, but nothing prepared me for the impact of actually driving along that route. The sight of all those people crowded along each overpass waiting for the motorcade to go by was heart-wrenching.
Every single overpass on the way downtown was lined with young and old, tall and small, there to pay their respects to the fallen soldier. Huge Canadian flags billowed in the breeze, held over the railings, smaller flags held on sticks by boys and girls. There were also a number of firetrucks and firefighters keeping watch as Private McKay’s father was a firefighter.
I felt deeply sad yet proud as we drove under the silent gatherings — each one a powerfully moving tribute. My eyes welled with tears and I was happy my husband was doing the driving.
When I got home, I sent off a letter of support to the peacekeepers, just a few words of encouragement to let them know we’re proud of their courage and the sacrifices they make on our behalf. If you’d like to do the same, the link is in the blog roll to the right.
P.S. A song of peace. Enjoy!
P.P.S. Photo from HERE.