New Brunswick now has a Highway of Heroes after a ceremony was held in Fredericton over the weekend to dedicate the portion of the Trans-Canada Highway that runs through the province to fallen soldiers and other service people.
The Nova Scotia rock band the Trews performed their song "Highway of Heroes" during the Sunday event and two large signs marking the Highway of Heroes have been erected on the roadside in Mazerolle Settlement and Lower Burton.
The name honours the dedication of Canadian veterans, soldiers, police, firefighters and other emergency personnel.
“For years to come, travellers in our province will see these signs and witness the respect and the gratitude New Brunswickers have for all of those who serve and protect us in both our local communities and on the world scene," said Premier David Alward.
Paul Cane, president of the Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Unit, which lobbied for the change, praised the provincial government’s recognition of those who have fallen in the name of freedom.
“I crossed the border from Edmundston, [a community named for] a Lancaster bomber built in Canada — standing as a silent sentry as you enter the province,” he said.
“To the east, we have the community of Dieppe named after the sacrifices of that horrible beachhead.”
New Brunswick is the fourth province to adopt the name Highway of Heroes for a section of highway.
In June, provincial MLAs unanimously passed a motion to rename the stretch from the province’s border with Quebec to the Nova Scotia border.
Fredericton-Silverwood MLA Brian Macdonald has described it as a "living memorial to all those who have served."
Macdonald, who is the legislative secretary for military affairs, introduced the renaming motion in the legislative assembly.
The official name of the Trans-Canada Highway, or Route 2, will remain the same and provincial maps will remain unchanged, he has said.
Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan have also renamed sections of their highway to honour soldiers.