TRENTON, Ont. – A new silver coin will commemorate Canada’s Highway of Heroes, as a tribute to the country’s war dead and the people who line the route to honour them.
The Royal Canadian Mint says $20 from the sale of each coin will be shared between the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial and the Military Families Fund.
The silver coin, which has a face value of $10, will retail for $69.95 and only 25,000 will be produced.
The Highway of Heroes is a 172-kilometre stretch of Highway 401 between Trenton, Ont., and Toronto.
Whenever a Canadian soldier is returned to the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, a convoy carrying the soldier’s coffin and family travels to the Centre for Forensic Sciences in Toronto.
Since 2002, thousands of Canadians have spontaneously gathered along the roadways and overpasses of the route to pay tribute.
The image on the coin shows an overpass on the Highway of Heroes as viewed from the perspective of a mourning family travelling along the route.
“With this special coin, the Government of Canada is paying homage to everyday Canadians who have shown their unwavering support to the families who have accompanied our fallen soldiers as they made the journey along the Highway of Heroes,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Monday at the ceremony introducing the coin.
“The donation to the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial and the Military Families Fund through the sale of this coin will ensure that the spirit of the Highway of Heroes will endure for years to come.”
The coin can be ordered online through the Royal Canadian Mint or at the mint’s boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver and participating Canada Post outlets.