Author Topic: Veterans' group wants N.B. Highway of Heroes  (Read 3274 times)

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Veterans' group wants N.B. Highway of Heroes
« on: April 18, 2012, 04:48:19 PM »
Veterans' group wants N.B. Highway of Heroes

Fallen soldiers | Lasting tribute to those who lost their lives serving Canada

A move is underway in New Brunswick to establish this province's version of the Highway of Heroes.

The idea, being pushed by the Canadian Army Veterans motorcycle unit, is based on the Ontario model that pays homage to fallen Canadian soldiers.

Throughout the Afghanistan combat mission, the bodies of lost military members have returned home to travel a special stretch of roadway between Trenton and Toronto. Thousands of Canadians have braved all sorts of weather over the last decade to pay their respects to the soldiers who have made that journey on Highway 401, one of the busiest motorways in North America.

Saint John veteran Sean Oshaughnessy, a member of motorcycle unit, which has branches throughout Atlantic Canada, said he would like to see the highway established for a number of reasons.

"First and foremost to recognize all the Canadians who gave the ultimate price," Oshaughnessy said in an interview.

It would not only recognize those who died in Afghanistan but also the First World War, the Second World War and Korea.

Oshaughnessy, who served in Vietnam with the U.S. Marine Corps, said the highway would also comfort those who have gone through the mental turmoil associated with the Afghan conflict.

The veteran said he has no specific location in mind at this time as to where the highway should be located, as long as it is somewhere along the Trans-Canada Highway.

"All we're pushing for at this point in time is to get the provincial government to think it over and go with the idea of getting a section of the Trans-Canada Highway (designated)."

It could be named either the Highway of Heroes of New Brunswick or New Brunswick Highway of Heroes, Oshaughnessy said.

All that's important right now is to have the idea accepted, he said.

Fredericton-Silverwood MLA Brian Macdonald, the legislative secretary responsible for military affairs, said he thinks establishing a New Brunswick version of Highway of Heroes is a great idea.

He said he's willing to meet and work with the Canadian Army Veterans to bring the idea to fruition.

"It's something that's been done across Canada," he said.

"Anything we can do to bring public attention to the service of our veterans and the care of their families is important. I am definitely going to work with them to see what we can do."

In British Columbia, a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway between Langley and Abbotsford was officially dedicated June 9 as the Highway of Heroes. It's designed to honour 13 soldiers from the province who died in Afghanistan.

According to the Canadian Army Veterans motorcycle unit, New Brunswick has lost nine soldiers in Afghanistan.

Oshaughnessy said the idea will be pushed to the province through a letter campaign that will target MLAs.

"I can assure you, (Canadian Army Veterans motorcycle unit) members will be writing from their hearts and will not be told what to write," he said.

"Freedom is not free, and thank God we all live in a democratic society, which was obtained by those who gave and suffered so we can enjoy what we call freedom."

The motorcycle unit is composed of serving military members, retired military personnel, law enforcement officers and members of the public.
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