A new commemorative coin from Canada, more than a mere collector
issue, honors fallen soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.
The Proof Highway of Heroes .9999 fine silver $10 coin
commemorates the 172-kilometer (107-mile) route on Highway 401
traveled by convoys taking fallen soldiers from the Canadian Forces
Base in Trenton, Ontario, to the Centre for Forensic Sciences in
Toronto, in preparation for their final resting place.
Today officially known as the Highway of Heroes, the designation
for this stretch of highway was borne of a spontaneous and
unprecedented grassroots movement inspired by the thousands of
Canadians who, since 2002, have gathered of their own volition along
the roadways and overpasses of this route to pay tribute to those who
have given their lives for Canada.
It is a journey that 158 members of the Canadian Forces have taken
since Canadian support of U.S. operations in Afghanistan began in
2002, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Designed by Royal Canadian Mint engraver Stan Witten in
collaboration with Maj. Carl Gauthier, the coin features the Cranberry
Road bridge overpass in Port Hope, Ontario, along the Highway of
Heroes, as viewed from the perspective of a mourning family
accompanying a lost loved one along the route.
During the solemn ceremony, the Memorial Cross, designed by the
RCM following World War I under order of King George V, and which is
presented to the loved ones of fallen soldiers, is carried by saluting
soldiers, a symbol of the sacrifice of their fallen comrades-in-arms.
It appears above the scene on the coin.
The Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse.
The coin weighs 15.87 grams, measures 34 millimeters in diameter
and has a mintage limit of 25,000 pieces.
The RCM in unveiling the coin Oct. 31 announced that $20 from the
$69.95 price for each coin is designated to be shared between the
Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial and the Military Families Fund.
“With this special coin, the Government of Canada is paying homage
to every day 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,” said Jim Flaherty, minister of
finance and minister responsible for the RCM, in a statement.
The coin was released after a spirited and vocal (and relentless)
local campaign that included an online petition and newspaper
articles. The coin was the brainchild of photojournalist Pete Fisher,
who helped coin the highway name and who has documented the
commemorations along the highway, work that was turned into a book
published in October.
The price is listed in Canadian funds.
United States distributors for the RCM carry the various coins at
fixed prices in U.S. dollars.
Gatewest Coin Ltd., Brian Jenner Inc. and Talisman Coins are all
official distributors for the RCM.
To contact Gatewest inside the United States, telephone the firm
at 204-489-9112 or visit it online at www.gatewestcoin.com.
Write to Jenner at P.O. Box 2466-a, Pasco, WA 99302, or telephone
him at 509-735-2172.
Visit Talisman at the firm’s website, www.talismancoins.com,
telephone the company at 888-552-2646 or fax the business at