On October 31, 2011 the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled the Highway of Heroes Silver Commemorative Coin. The Highway of Heroes is the name given to the 172-kilometer stretch of Highway 401 traveled by a convoy of vehicles carrying a fallen soldier’s body and their family from Canadian Forces Base in Trenton to the coroner’s office at the Centre for Forensic Sciences in Toronto. Since 2002, thousands of Canadians have gathered along the roadways and overpasses of the route to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers.
The commemorative coin was the idea of photographer Pete Fisher, who had taken a tour of the Mint in 2009. His idea was initially greeted with enthusiasm by Mint officials, but it was an online petition and the support of local politicians that helped make the coin a reality.
The reverse design of the coin features an overpass along the Highway of Heroes as viewed from the perspective of the mourning family as they accompany their lost loved one along the route. The Memorial Cross which appears in the upper field is presented to the loved ones of fallen soldiers and is carried by saluting soldiers as a symbol of the sacrifice of their fallen comrades. The reverse was designed by Stan Witten in collaboration with Major Carl Gauthier.
On the obverse is the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
Each coin is struck in 99.99% pure silver with a weight of 15.87 grams and diameter of 34 mm. The mintage is limited to 25,000 pieces. The retail price of the coins is $69.95, with $20 from the sale of each coin to be shared between the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial and the Military Families Fund.
For additional information and ordering, please visit www.mint.ca/heroes.