'Highway of Heroes' is confusing
Editor: Every highway has a number and a name. Highway 1 is called the Trans-Canada Highway because its original construction used federal funding. A few decades ago we used to call it “the 401” because it was the only one that had four lanes. Fortunately, that is no longer so.
To call Highway 1 through Langley by another name (namely “Highway of Heroes”) is confusing and in fact unnecessary. Nobody will use that name colloquially, and many Canadians would in fact like to forget our country’s initial secret involvement in Afghanistan (which was not peacekeeping), and remains very controversial to say the least.
The new minister of transportation might as well save $10,000 to replace the sign that was destroyed by two highway heroes (?) two weeks ago.
It is south of Zero Avenue that they do this kind of thing all too often, where a military mindset thrives and the country is continually at war with anybody who tries to use other types of currency for selling gold and oil.
They even name highway sections and rest areas and the like after highway patrolmen and maintenance foremen, as for example “Superintendent I. M. Dumb Rest Area.” Moreover, Canada does not really have a heritage that glorifies war.
I am not saying that the 13 British Columbians who lost their lives in Afghanistan should not be remembered. Far from that. Let’s call a street in Aldergrove (where he lived) after Master Corporal Colin Bason — e.g. “Colin Bason Crescent,” and not the full name plus title. That would be more meaningful in the long run, and other B.C. municipalities could do the same. And yes, 50 years from now, somebody may well ask: Why does it have this name?
Somebody who becomes cannon fodder in a far off country should not automatically be called a hero. They just did the job for which they enlisted, knowing full well that they might not return home safe and sound.
In the town where I was born, a youngster who voluntarily joined the underground resistance forces against the German occupying forces, was treacherously killed. After the liberation in 1945 “Bridge Street” was renamed “Pieter Doelman Street,” and it remains that today. His acts were heroic.
Jacob de Raadt,