I was pleased to recently join Premier Greg Selinger, representatives from the military, our veterans’ organizations and veterans themselves, to unveil Manitoba’s Highway of Heroes between Winnipeg and Brandon. The Manitoba Highway of Heroes will be a reminder of the contributions and sacrifices of Canada’s military and veterans.
As the premier pointed out, thousands of Manitobans have served our country with unwavering commitment, dedication and bravery. The designation of this highway is one way we honour their legacy and sacrifice and recognize the pride and profound thanks of all Manitobans to the women and men of our Canadian Forces.
Highway markers located just west of Winnipeg and east of Brandon on the Trans-Canada Highway feature the iconic red poppy at the top and the Highway of Heroes name in both official languages with reflective white lettering on a blue background.
Maj.-Gen. Alain Parent, commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, headquartered in Winnipeg expressed "our deep gratitude to the Province of Manitoba and indeed all Manitobans for what they are doing to honour and stand with the men and women who serve Canada. Today is more than a designation of a highway sign; it is the dedication of ourselves that we, the living, shall not forget the ultimate sacrifice others have made in the service of Canada.”
A simultaneous event was held in the Brandon area on the Trans-Canada Highway near Canadian Forces Base/Area Support Unit Shilo.
Approximately 425,000 Canadians served overseas in the First World War and over one million in the Second World War. Nearly 117,000 Canadians have died and over 225,000 have been wounded in all conflicts since Manitoba entered Confederation in 1870.
The location of the highway is also a reminder of the Canadian Forces contribution to helping us in peacetime as well. It is right in the same area where thousands of soldiers helped us fight the historic flooding last year.
With the designation of the highway as the "Highway of Heroes" thousands of Manitobans will be reminded every day of the commitment and sacrifice of our veterans.