Pride but sadness for our fallen

Today I had the opportunity once again to witness our Canadian Pride as we saluted two more of our Canadian soldiers that gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Today Master Corporal Pat Audet and Corporal Martin Joannette traveled the Highway of Heroes from Trenton along the 401 Highway down to the DVP into Toronto.
Both brave men were killed in a during a take-off attempt involving a Canadian CH-146 Griffon helicopter.

They became the 123rd and 124th armed forces members to die in Afghanistan.

I get a lump in my throat every time I see scores of people lining every single bridge overpass along the 401 in the region of Durham (Oshawa to Ajax) in which I travel very often for work.

As you can see in the picture above that I took with my cell phone (yes I pulled over first) there is a mixture of young and not so young Canadians with banners and flags that wave at all of the drivers that pass below them and then cheer and salute the procession as it passes them on the way to Toronto where the soldiers go for autopsy before being transported to their final resting place.
Also on the bridges are ambulances and Firetrucks that have their crews standing on top of the emergency vehicles paying respect to the soldiers as if they are brothers in arms.

For most of these trips along the Highway of Heros they travel through Durham around four in the afternoon but the Canadians that are waiting for them arrive at the bridges before Two O’clock and it does not matter if it is hot, cold, dry or wet the bridges are full of people.

Once the procession has passed most of the people just quietly leave the bridges and walk home or get into their cars and go back to what they would normally do.

It is a terrible thing when we lose our brave protectors that put in the effort to not only protect our lives and values but also trying to help people in far away lands. It makes no difference if we are for or against the effort in Afghanistan, but what does matter is that we support these brave young men and women.

I have not heard of any other countries that have a system like ours here in Canada that has a Highway of Heros which started just on its own, not something that was done by our government but rather ordinary Canadians that just knew what needed to be done.

Any of us that watch Hockey Night in Canada know that Don Cherry will salute our fallen at the end of Coaches Corner and most of the time Don Gets choked up and has trouble getting out the words describing the “good old Canadian boys” and their families while showing the soldiers pictures on the TV screen standing proud next to our beautiful Red and White Canadian Flag.

Just consider too that our three original Canadian Hockey teams that were around in the 70’s have the nicknames Canadiens, Maple Leafs and Canucks showing pride in our Country.

I read a very interesting story a couple of weeks ago where a lady was on an airplane and on the plane there were also 10 Canadian Soldiers that were on their way to a training facility in another part of the country and the airline had those $5.00 snack boxes that they sell and when the flight attendant asked the soldiers if they would like one they said no since they could not afford to spend any money for that. The lady on the plane hearing that took $50.00 out of her pocket and gave it to the flight attendant with the instruction to give all 10 of the soldiers a snack box. A few of the other passengers noticed what the lady had done and one of them walked up to her and gave her $25.00 saying he did not want her to cover the cost by herself and then two more passengers also gave $25.00 each. So now she had $75.00 and you know what she did with the cash? She gave it to the soldiers so that they could buy them selves something else to eat or drink once they land.

Stories like that are they type that pull on your heart strings.

If you ever see a soldier while your out doing your own thing, walk up and shake their hands and let them know that we appreciate their efforts. and maybe even offer to by them a Timmies coffee and or a donut, it will make their day and most likely yours as well.

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About Wilfred Reinke
Married with 3 kids and 2 grandkids, Owner of Oshawa Laser Supply Computers-Printers-Paper Sales, Loves to BBQ and learning more about it.

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