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Last Saturday Cpl Steve Martin, aged just 24, was killed in Afghanistan. Today would have been his 25th birthday. He is the 154th Canadian soldier to die there. Today his casket was loaded on to a military plane in Kandahar for repatriation back to Canada. He will arrive back in Canada tomorrow.
His body will be flown to Trenton Canadian Air Force Base, in south eastern Ontario. From there the casket is loaded into a hearse, and the deceased’s family will join a grim procession that will head west along Hwy 401 to Toronto. This section of Hwy 401 has become known as the Highway of Heroes. The journey ends 2 hours later at the Ontario Coroner's office on Grenville Street in downtown Toronto.
Along the route Canadians turn out in all weather to show support and to watch the procession that no one ever wants to be a part of.
I always hope each repatriation to Canada will be the last.
Why are we in Afghanistan? Anyone? Anyone?