As most of you who have read my blog are aware, I live in Trenton, Ontario. Trenton is home to C.F.B. (Canadian Forces Base) Trenton. C.F.B. Trenton is Canada's largest airforce base, and as such is the home to 8 Wing squadron, the unit responsible for the Herculese and other transport aircraft.
One of the unenviable tasks of C.F.B. Trenton is to be the site for the repatriation ceremonies for our fallen soldiers. Today we had another repatriation. I try to go whenever possible. Civilians are allowed to stand outside the fence to pay our respects, and whether it's in the middle of winter or the middle of summer, hundreds of civilians show up. Today we had to pay our respects to Sgt. Martin Goudreault who was killed by a landmine in Afghanistan.
The stretch of highway between Trenton and Toronto (about 160 kms) is called "The Highway of Heroes", because this is the route that the vehicle transporting the fallen soldier will take when taking the body to the Chief Coroner of Ontario in Toronto. Trenton is not the only town that comes out to show their respect. Every overpass along the highway is filled with people from nearby towns, and every police force and fire department is represented. In downtown Toronto, the streets are lined with people too. It seems to be the very least we can do to honour these brave men and women.
Sgt. Martin Goudreault is Canada's 147th casualty in Afghanistan. I hope this is the last time I will have to go and stand by that fence.
Here is a video that someone put together last year about Canada's "Highway of Heroes".