The Friendly Funeralista

The Highway of Heroes

Posted on: November 8, 2010

Highway of Heroes

With Remembrance Day approaching, I wanted to talk about the Highway of Heroes.

Here’s the clinical definition:  

The Highway of Heroes is a designated route used to transport the bodies of dead Canadian soldiers from the Canadian airforce base in Trenton, Ontario to the Coroner’s Office in downtown Toronto.  Once in Toronto, a forensic examination is conducted after which the body is returned home for funeral services.   All soldiers killed in action are required to be examined by the coroner in Toronto and as a result will travel the Highway of Heroes.  

Here’s the important stuff:

Upon arrival at Trenton airforce base, the family of the soldier will join with a party of Canadian dignitaries to receive the casket from the aircraft.  Together this small group will participate in a short service of remembrance.  The family will then be escorted to a limousine(s) and together with the funeral coach carrying their loved one they  will travel for 90 minutes to Toronto.  Unlike the ceremonies that take place on the tarmac, the procession along the Highway of Heroes is public.  The cortege is accompanied by a police escort and the route is cleared to allow for the procession to proceed unencumbered.  Along the way the family will be supported by hundreds and thousands of Canadians who come out in droves to stand on guard, to share the grief, to take responsibility, to bear witness, and to offer thanks for this ultimate sacrifice.  Here in Canada the death of one of our soldiers is taken very personally.  

Here is a Highway of Heroes tribute for you to watch.  Lest we forget.

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