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(National Post)   Why Canada's Highway of Heroes is a model of how other nations should salute their war dead. Or, other nations could just keep bringing them back on cargo flights to military bases at 3 a.m (pic)   (network.nationalpost.com) divider line 194
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22896 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jan 2009 at 10:43 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-01-02 11:24:05 PM  
I am an Ugly American, I remember being in Canada about 11 years ago, well befor 9/11 or anything that has come since.....I remember what so impressed me at the time was all the Canadian flags all over everything...they were all unabashedly proud to be Canadian........it was a child's faith, I was humbled, envious and embarised.........I wished that I could feel that way about my home.
 
2009-01-02 11:24:13 PM  
What war dead? The surge was a huge success! We've just turned the Green Zone over to the Iraqis. If that doesn't radiate success, then I don't know what does.
 
2009-01-02 11:27:49 PM  
kleppe: Stopped reading after Canadian smugness manifested itself.

If you kept on reading, you'd realize that he was explaining the logistics of the drive to those that may not realize its necessity, not the superior morality of it.
 
2009-01-02 11:28:17 PM  
I have been in awe of the dignity and ceremony that we give our dead soldiers when coming home. I have been on the HOH during many of those solemn occasions.

These soldiers are dying because we are committed to a common cause.

As much as I dislike GWB and the way things have panned out during his tenure, I, for one, support the very difficult task that our military has accepted and continue to die for, because, in the common cause of the United States and Canada, we need to stand together, not always, but sometimes.

This is one of those times.

/CDN
/flame level set to low
 
2009-01-02 11:28:18 PM  
Just to blow some American minds a little more:

The highway used to be called the McDonald-Cartier Freeway. It was renamed the "Highway of Heroes" by a Liberal Premier of Ontario.

We have the same left/right divisions as you guys ... but for the most part we refuse to let political affiliation define us, trump our humanity or override our common sense.
 
2009-01-02 11:28:24 PM  
A lot of the people just show up ad hoc as well, it seems very loosely organized. I was driving home from school on the 401 last year and saw the flags over the bridges so once I got off the highway at my exit I parked at the closest parking lot walked over and waited 40 minutes until the motorcade came. After talking to a few people it seemed the only people who really knew about it beforehand where the firemen and a handful of people with flags, the firemen show up early with their firetruck, and people driving by begin to stop and wait with them. It was really cool. I had a really good chat with an older man and his wife and they went on about how the people in Afghanistan are just like us and most just want a chance to live in a free society like we have. Smug aside, I felt proud to be Canadian that day.
 
2009-01-02 11:32:37 PM  
Ekillr: And let the people who don't support the war see them? That would make it easier for the self-important, entitled asshats to stage protests to serve their own agendas and throw rubbish and animal blood at the hearses.

The Canadians aren't quite the same brand of scum we are, you see? They can do civilised things like this.


They did this in Texas. I remember back when the war started there was a news story about all the people on overpasses as fallen soldiers were brought home.
 
2009-01-02 11:32:56 PM  
My four year old asked me about one of the motorcades a while back.

I explained to him about the war far away, and the families, and i made him take off his hat as we stopped by the side of the road.

And he got very quiet and sad and asked if i was ever going to war, too.

Doesn't matter how old you are, or who you are, or what your views are ... those motorcades are a powerful, powerful thing.
 
2009-01-02 11:32:58 PM  
As a proud Canadian, I have a right to this soapbox.

The Highway of Heroes is nothing but propaganda. These fallen soldiers are not heroes, they are doing their job. Just dying in the line of duty is an honour, but it does not make you a hero.

This in actuality belittles the actual heroes, the VC recipients, the Cross of Valour recipients, those are true heroes. The people lining the streets have bought it hook, line, and sinker.
 
2009-01-02 11:33:55 PM  
cache.boston.com

Hotlinked from Boston.com's the big picture (pops)

"Honor guard carry the casket of Sergeant Prescott Shipway to a hearse past his daughter Rowan Shipway, 4, and his wife Diana Dawn Kaczmar (and his son Hayden, 6 holding a rose at far right) , at Canadian Forces Base Trenton September 10, 2008. Shipway, an infantryman with the Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, was killed on September 7 when his armoured vehicle struck a roadside bomb in the Panjwayi District of Afghanistan. (REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)"
 
2009-01-02 11:35:34 PM  
towatchoverme: And he got very quiet and sad and asked if i was ever going to war, too.

Yup. I'm going to Afghanistan next week, and my kids have already asked me if I'm going to die. Not likely, but I didn't actually get a vaccine against IEDs.
 
2009-01-02 11:37:45 PM  
Yet another reason why Canada is awesome.
 
2009-01-02 11:41:51 PM  
40below: towatchoverme: And he got very quiet and sad and asked if i was ever going to war, too.

Yup. I'm going to Afghanistan next week, and my kids have already asked me if I'm going to die. Not likely, but I didn't actually get a vaccine against IEDs.


Good luck mate.
 
2009-01-02 11:42:15 PM  
40below: Yup. I'm going to Afghanistan next week, and my kids have already asked me if I'm going to die. Not likely, but I didn't actually get a vaccine against IEDs.

Good luck! And, as an American, I thank you for your service!
 
2009-01-02 11:46:00 PM  
ansius: Good luck mate.

Yeah, if there's nothing in the queue two weeks from now but TFDs and cat threads, you'll know the terrorists have won.
 
2009-01-02 11:46:57 PM  
anurak: As a proud Canadian, I have a right to this soapbox.

The Highway of Heroes is nothing but propaganda. These fallen soldiers are not heroes, they are doing their job. Just dying in the line of duty is an honour, but it does not make you a hero.

This in actuality belittles the actual heroes, the VC recipients, the Cross of Valour recipients, those are true heroes. The people lining the streets have bought it hook, line, and sinker.


As a recent immigrant to Canada from the U.S, I have a right to this soapbox: You sir, are a giant bag of douche.
 
2009-01-02 11:48:15 PM  
maniacbastard - Bush is a pig and will be gone soon. I hope Obama institutes this kind of respect for the fallen vs. Bushes sneaky Army of Darkness bullcrap.

You're kidding, right?
 
2009-01-02 11:48:22 PM  
40below: towatchoverme: And he got very quiet and sad and asked if i was ever going to war, too.

Yup. I'm going to Afghanistan next week, and my kids have already asked me if I'm going to die. Not likely, but I didn't actually get a vaccine against IEDs.


I'd like to say we're working on it but we're a little busy with the Navy. Stay safe and good luck.
 
2009-01-02 11:48:31 PM  
anurak: As a proud Canadian, I have a right to this soapbox.

The Highway of Heroes is nothing but propaganda. These fallen soldiers are not heroes, they are doing their job. Just dying in the line of duty is an honour, but it does not make you a hero.

This in actuality belittles the actual heroes, the VC recipients, the Cross of Valour recipients, those are true heroes. The people lining the streets have bought it hook, line, and sinker.


Guess Canadians have their fair share of douchebags as well.

Whether the soldiers were killed by a mortar attack while having a smoke inside the wire or while making a one-man charge on an enemy stronghold, dying in the line of duty is an honor worthy of respect by others.

The additional awards are what separates those who did amazing deeds from those who merely died in the line of duty. We should do this in the US as well, but like many others have said, there are way too many self-important asshats who would desecrate the event. We do hold pretty elaborate memorial services on base, well away from said self-important asshats.
 
2009-01-02 11:50:40 PM  
K3rmy: Canada has heroes?

Who knew. . .


Not just Heroes. Heroes with brass balls the size of the Death Star. With lasers on 'em and stuff. See General Romeo Dallaire. Balls.
 
2009-01-02 11:51:02 PM  
 
2009-01-02 11:53:30 PM  
spi13: I am an Ugly American, I remember being in Canada about 11 years ago, well befor 9/11 or anything that has come since.....I remember what so impressed me at the time was all the Canadian flags all over everything...they were all unabashedly proud to be Canadian........it was a child's faith, I was humbled, envious and embarised.........I wished that I could feel that way about my home.

There was a HUGE change in Canadian public patriotism (at least to this American tourist's eyes) between 1991 and 1998. It may have had something to do with the two secession referenda in Quebec. Or it may have had to do with a beer commercial: "I AM CANADIAN!"

In 1990 and 1991, it was relatively hard to find books about Canada in Canadian bookstores (including The World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto near Eaton Centre). "Bullwhip Days", a book about American slavery, topped the charts in late May, 1990. The book had merit, but Canada was going through the throes of Meech Lake's protracted and painful demise while the GST loomed in the next year. In 1991, Quebec was planning another referendum, the GST struck and still the Americana section of a Guelph bookstore was spacious and capacious while Canadiana got four whole shelves.

(Despite this low profile, Canadian-ness was so overwhelming in Toronto that after five days I wondered what the hell all those obnoxious Americans were doing at Eaton Centre in Toronto -- probably buying Cuban cigars.)

By August 1998, two failed referenda had intervened, Joe Canada had his "I AM CANADIAN!" screamfest from sea to sea to sea and the Canadian history and culture sections ballooned. But maybe it meant nothing in reality, since somehow Tim Horton's, Laura Secord Ice Cream and Eaton's got swallowed into American megacorps.
 
2009-01-02 11:53:38 PM  
johnny_vegas was the kia you saw in L.A. headed for Bakersfield. It hasn't been long since we had one come up from there with all kinds of escorts including civilian motorcycle groups. He was found in Viet Nahm and returned. They even escorted him to the mortuary and stood guard over him. And was escorted to the burial site. It was really a moving site.

For awhile there was a so called Christian group. that every time a soldier from Iraq or Afganistran was buried here in the states, that showed up a the funeral and harrassed the family and friends. They would stand screaming obcenatities and calling the soldier a murderer and the family parents of murderers it was just so sickening. It got so bad that Law Enforcement was having to show up to protect the family until a bunch of Biker groups got together and started attending the funerals and protecting the families.
 
2009-01-02 11:53:50 PM  
40below: Oh, and just in case you Americans don't get it - all our war dead come to CFB Trenton, then are driven west 100 miles to Toronto for autopsies before being released to their families, and it is well-publicized in advance. Here are a few images of what happens. Careful, they're hot:

I believe this is called "classy."
 
2009-01-02 11:54:23 PM  
anurak wrote: The Highway of Heroes is nothing but propaganda. These fallen soldiers are not heroes, they are doing their job. Just dying in the line of duty is an honour, but it does not make you a hero.

Credy wrote: Guess Canadians have their fair share of douchebags as well.

Whether the soldiers were killed by a mortar attack while having a smoke inside the wire or while making a one-man charge on an enemy stronghold, dying in the line of duty is an honor worthy of respect by others.

The additional awards are what separates those who did amazing deeds from those who merely died in the line of duty. We should do this in the US as well, but like many others have said, there are way too many self-important asshats who would desecrate the event. We do hold pretty elaborate memorial services on base, well away from said self-important asshats.


This.

Well stated.
 
2009-01-02 11:57:09 PM  
I'm at work all misty-eyed now. But I've been like that lately as my little brother will be deploying in February/March.

I wish we could do something like this in the US but as it's already been stated- people would come out for the wrong reasons and use it as a soapbox to state whatever their beliefs were and the media would whore it up. If only people could put aside whatever their personal feelings were and shut up and be respectful for those who fought and lost their lives.

Do I agree with the war? No, not necessarily. But I damn sure support the troops and the people with the testicular fortitude to go into the military.

For my dad, and my brother, Semper Fi.

/someone gimme a tissue.
 
2009-01-02 11:58:52 PM  
40below: Yup. I'm going to Afghanistan next week, and my kids have already asked me if I'm going to die. Not likely, but I didn't actually get a vaccine against IEDs.

come home safe man. I have a stepbrother who's going to afghanistan in february.
 
2009-01-03 12:00:45 AM  
Interesting political side note -

Before the conservatives came to power under Harper, all government buildings would lower their flags to half mast when a soldier died overseas. Harper Banned this practice when he took power, including not lowering the flag on the parliament buildings.

Doing this on Hwy 401 was a completely voluntary response by citizens. The people that do actually care.
 
2009-01-03 12:01:03 AM  
40below...God Bless You. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.

Thank you never seems good enough to say.
 
2009-01-03 12:01:13 AM  

Cragganmore on ice righttrapped-in-CH: I'm having Cragganmore on ice right now, and I was feeling guilty because I didn't have any good reason to be drinking. But now I do. This is to you, heroes.

ICE?!


i126.photobucket.com

THE SCOTTISH COMMUNITY FROWNS UPON YOUR SHENNANIGANS

 
2009-01-03 12:08:15 AM  
The reason that the U.S. doesn't do something like this is due to the difference between the U.S. and Canada.

Canada is like TF, and the U.S. is Fark lite.

Take this thread, for example. There was rather rational discussion among all the TFers.

The first liter to comment in this thread made it a point to insult Canada's military.

The U.S., as a whole, isn't capable of behaving in a manner dignified enough to honor the service members who died.
 
2009-01-03 12:10:22 AM  
Temescal: I'd be more inclined to think that they (the US) don't publicize theirs as much because they're worried that, rather than turning into a respectful salute to people that gave all (you can question the motives of people above them, but their own motives are usually fairly selfless), it would turn into some media circus/protest, reuniting the scummiest people from all sides, from the Christian fundie with signs saying that God killed them to punish us for not stoning gays, to the trustafarian brandishing completely unrelated flags/signs saying that if only we all went vegan, this kind of thing wouldn't happen.

I think it goes right down to the root of the Bush administration's state of mind when whey started the war, at least in Iraq. They were hiding things because their intentions were far from pure. They were lying and manipulating the situation.

Afghanistan was a semi-legitimate war. I personally think that Bush had decided to go to war and deliberately went about engineering it, but the Afghanis were harbouring Al-Qaeda, so he at least had a passable justification.

But as for Iraq, that was all about deception, and never about what was right or moral. That was obvious to a great number of people It explains why people were so strongly opposed to the war. The deception also explains why the dead soldiers were smuggled in the country in such an undignified matter. The Bush administration cared far more about public perception, about their deception. They did not care at all about those men and women who had made the supreme sacrifice.

The Canadians? They are in Afganistan for honourable reasons. They have no reason to complain.
 
2009-01-03 12:10:32 AM  
Isotope: That's awesome. But yeah, do that here and Fred Phelps would start making regular appearances.

Can we send him to Afghanistan?


/Phelps makes a good argument against free speech
 
2009-01-03 12:10:34 AM  
Submitard can eat a bag of dicks and wash it down with a Canadian beer.

If you'd ever been to a funeral for an American serviceman I'm pretty sure you would have seen how this country salutes our fallen.

Now, kindly close your cockholster.
 
2009-01-03 12:13:01 AM  
Evocatus: If you'd ever been to a funeral for an American serviceman I'm pretty sure you would have seen how this country salutes our fallen.

Now, kindly close your cockholster.


He's talking about how the U.S. government doesn't have publicized processions or the caskets when the caskets are returned.

Yes, military funerals are good. But, our government does keep a lid on the bodies when they're brought back to the states up until the funeral.

They do so because the majority of Americans don't behave well enough to properly honor the fallen soldiers if they're driven in a procession on the highway.
 
2009-01-03 12:13:59 AM  
We Americans are scum because we know what we do is wrong and yet we have no balls to stand up against it. Face the truth. You love Bush and you are scum.
 
2009-01-03 12:17:59 AM  
Evocatus: Submitard can eat a bag of dicks and wash it down with a Canadian beer.

If you'd ever been to a funeral for an American serviceman I'm pretty sure you would have seen how this country salutes our fallen.

Now, kindly close your cockholster.


Yeah, I'll keep that in mind.

Maybe you wanna keep your ignorant asshatedness in mind too, Mr Red White and Blue.
 
2009-01-03 12:18:12 AM  
Yamaneko2: There was a HUGE change in Canadian public patriotism (at least to this American tourist's eyes) between 1991 and 1998.

I'm 24 and when I was growing up all my teachers always told us that Canadians are not patriotic, and that lack of patriotism is Canada's defining feature, because I'm guessing that's how it had always been for their generation and previous generation, a sort of quiet humbleness. They were always confused when I told them that my generation advertises its patriotism loudly. Maple Leaf tattoo's are commonplace (the red more so than the blue) and I can recall may a drunken night of belching out "Oh Canada" to the ire of sleeping neighbours both in Canada and in other countries. Maybe it was those beer commercials or as you said a more political reaction because of the referendums (refenedi?) but either way I've never known it any other way.
 
2009-01-03 12:18:52 AM  
chakalakasp: Cragganmore on ice righttrapped-in-CH: I'm having Cragganmore on ice right now, and I was feeling guilty because I didn't have any good reason to be drinking. But now I do. This is to you, heroes.

ICE?!

THE SCOTTISH COMMUNITY FROWNS UPON YOUR SHENNANIGANS



wasn't the guy in the middle supposed to be Irish?
 
2009-01-03 12:19:45 AM  
SchlingFocker: The reason that the U.S. doesn't do something like this is due to the difference between the U.S. and Canada.

Canada is like TF, and the U.S. is Fark lite.

Take this thread, for example. There was rather rational discussion among all the TFers.

The first liter to comment in this thread made it a point to insult Canada's military.

The U.S., as a whole, isn't capable of behaving in a manner dignified enough to honor the service members who died.


I'm a liter.
Yet I am Canadian.

/I'm confused.
 
2009-01-03 12:20:11 AM  
Yes, the Canadian tradition is very touching.

Not to sound cold-hearted, but it's easier to have tributes like that when your annual death toll is measured in dozens of soldiers, not hundreds or thousands.
 
2009-01-03 12:21:25 AM  
It's all Bush's fault.

When the fallen troops came home from Kosovo, they were given a hero's welcome on the front lawn of the White House, and the entire country watched as President Clinton welcomed them home and enumerated their great sacrifice before us all. Same thing happened when they came home from Somalia, and other unmentioned places, during his administration.

It was a much better country then. Most of us had lollypop gardens and two flying cars in the heli-garage.
 
2009-01-03 12:21:57 AM  
TheOtherMisterP: Not to sound cold-hearted, but it's easier to have tributes like that when your annual death toll is measured in dozens of soldiers, not hundreds or thousands.

It's not a matter of logistics.

It's a matter of an American public not mature enough to treat the event with the respect it deserves coupled with an American government not mature enough to publicly display the sheer number of troops we've lost.
 
2009-01-03 12:23:01 AM  
I hate the war, the government, and the need for a military complex. The individual soldiers do get my respect and if we gotta have a military I think Canada's does 110% with about 20% of what they actually need to do the job.

/cue the picture our tank and navy boat.
 
2009-01-03 12:25:08 AM  
zappawizard: Isotope: That's awesome. But yeah, do that here and Fred Phelps would start making regular appearances.

Can we send him to Afghanistan?


/Phelps makes a good argument against free speech


Rumor is, he makes a good living off the first amendment (i.e., show up in public, say some crazy shiat, and sue the fark out of the people that try to stop you).
 
2009-01-03 12:27:17 AM  
Hongcouver: I think Canada's does 110% with about 20% of what they actually need to do the job

They have good raw material to work with:
i62.photobucket.com
 
2009-01-03 12:27:32 AM  
anurak: As a proud Canadian, I have a right to this soapbox.

I agree with you , most people in the Armed Forces that I have known would be embarrassed by this show , on the other hand a few would request that you prop their dead body up so their ass was hanging out the window and do laps around the DND HQ in Ottawa or a number of other places .

but any funeral is for the living not the dead ..

I joined twenty odd years ago ( never completed basic .. Mulroney budget cuts ) I found a lot of people joined for various reasons but being worshiped was never one of them .

Whether I agree with the mission or not I feel the Forces member still should be shown due respect . If a person has the guts to run in to burning building to save a baby, hurray for them . If they were lied to and there is no baby , that is sad but still, hurray for them.
 
2009-01-03 12:29:46 AM  
SchlingFocker: He's talking about how the U.S. government doesn't have publicized processions or the caskets when the caskets are returned.

Ooooohhhhh. You mean like how they did in all the other wars we've had?

Yes, military funerals are good. But, our government does keep a lid on the bodies when they're brought back to the states up until the funeral.

That's because funerals are private affairs. Even if a military funeral is chosen, the family still has quite a say in how it's conducted.

They do so because the majority of Americans don't behave well enough to properly honor the fallen soldiers if they're driven in a procession on the highway.

Google's your friend. Try it sometime.
 
2009-01-03 12:30:22 AM  
anurak: As a proud Canadian, I have a right to this soapbox.

The Highway of Heroes is nothing but propaganda. These fallen soldiers are not heroes, they are doing their job. Just dying in the line of duty is an honour, but it does not make you a hero.

This in actuality belittles the actual heroes, the VC recipients, the Cross of Valour recipients, those are true heroes. The people lining the streets have bought it hook, line, and sinker.


And also as a proud Canadian, I have a right to say this.

Even the VC recipients will tell you that the difference between them and a coffin is often how close the grenade landed.

The gentlemen who are brave enough to put their lives on the line in ANY war zone are more than deserving of all we can do when they make the ultimate sacrifice, however it was brought on. The people lining the bridges are doing what they can to show respect and support for the deceased and their families, and were doing it long before the highway was renamed.

And where I come from, anyone willing to risk his life to protect others is a hero.
 
2009-01-03 12:31:09 AM  
The article was mainly an attack on the British. That's reasonable, being from Scotland has made me desperately aware of the fact that for every UK soldier that dies, 100,000 asswipes have previously treated them like shiat.

/RIP Marine Lucas Alexander, WO2 Gary O'Donnell, Cpl Barry Dempsey, Sgt Jonathan Mathews, Lance Cpl James Johnson, Capt John McDermid, Cpl Mark Wright, Pvt Craig O'Donnell, Lance Cpl Ross Nicholls,
 
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