Sunday, 11 November 2012

Highway Of Heroes

In Canada, we honour our fallen military personnel by naming portions of the Trans Canada Highway in their honour. ~

If they fall in a foreign land, they are brought home to the Trenton Air base.  I was born on that air base.  Today, I listened to the serviceman who, for many years, had the job of escorting the hearse and the family members from that base, along a 170 k stretch of highway that has 50 bridges.  He said the families were grieving as expected, but each time they passed under a bridge, they smiled and waved and commented on the show of support for their loss and the ultimate sacrifice paid.

That's because with each fallen hero brought home to us, this happens. ~

photo courtesy of Spendthrift And Dreams

Not one hero passes along this highway alone!

Today, we give thanks to all the brave men and women who have risked their lives for our freedom.  We bow our heads in memory for those who gave their very lives for our freedom.  We think of the shattered lives and terrible struggles so many have suffered from the trauma of action.  We are grateful and humbled by  their selfless devotion to their homeland and the ideals we hold so dear.

My hero joined the Royal Canadian Airforce, by special letter of permission, at age 17.  He'd already lied about his age and enlisted at age 15 and was very close to being sent overseas before he was found out. By 18 he was stationed in Britain and was a tailgunner on Lancaster bombers.  He knew full well that there was no escape for tailgunners, should the plane be shot down.

When the war in Europe ended, he immediately signed up for the war in the Pacific.  He was sent home on a thirty day leave and, on the 29th. day, Japan surrendered.  He had done his duty and then some!

Thanks, Dad.  I'm so glad you did not return via the Highway Of Heroes.  I'm so glad you had the courage to stand up for your beliefs and I carry on your ardent support of our service people.

I'll always remember! ~

This press photo of my Aunt Molly, a decorated Canadian Nursing Sister, is taken in Flanders Fields.  These poppies are a beautiful symbol of remembrance and hope that someday no one needs us to greet them them as they make their silent journey down our Highway Of Heroes!