Highway of Heroes?

In an act of political bravery unmatched in modern times, Premier Dalton McGuinty has announced that a section of Highway 401 is to be renamed the "Highway of Heroes".

What is a hero, anyway? At dictionary.com, the top result for 'hero' is

a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

Ignoring the sexism explicit in the dictionary.com definition, I still have to wonder what courage, ability, deeds or qualities the fallen soldiers exhibited to warrant being referred to as heroes.

The act of showing up?

When I think of what a hero is, I think of someone who lost their job whistle-blowing government and/or corporate malfeasance, or someone who drowned jumping into a swollen river trying to save a kid, ie. someone who knowingly made a conscious decision to do the right thing, regardless of his or her own probable doom.

While they are all volunteers, news items (no links available) I have read seem to imply that Armed Forces members are eager to serve in Afghanistan because they can increase their income significantly.

Surely, that makes them fallen mercenaries, rather than fallen heroes?

Still, let's be charitable and assume that they weren't there for the cash, but were instead answering the eternal Call of Duty, where young men and women sacrifice their lives for the Greater Good.

To me, they would still seem victims, not heroes. Perhaps that is what heroes really are, not doers of brave deeds but useful PR instruments for recruiting future potential Heroes.

Anyhoo, here are a few suggestions for the renaming that I feel might be more appropriate:

Promenade of the Pawns

Civvie Street (the hard way)

No Life Like It Lane

Being a classy guy, I hesitate to submit:

Suckers' Street

McGuinty should be ashamed, and for all the right reasons...


Crave Moorehead said...

The definition over at Thesaurus.com is "brave person". However I do concur somewhat with your bombastic post. What to you think of "Martyr's Parkway"?

Anonymous said...

Let's put this on the list:
Highway of the Hoodwinked

Anonymous said...

Or "Highway of Murderers" .. Killing of innocent civilians is no "hero" to me!

PALGOLAK said...

Evaluation of these submissions:

crave moorehead: apparently missed the point

anon 1: excellent addition

anon 2: while it has the ring of truth, I doubt that even the NDP would accept that name for a public highway. Something a little less confrontational, or at least make it alliterative. Keep focused people!

cricket said...

"Hoodwinked" "murderers" "martyr's" What garbage. I've been to Afghanistan, and seen the good that our soldiers, diplomats and aid agencies have done. What have you done to make a better world? There are a lot of aid agencies working in Afghanistan or Pakistan, why don't you try and help them out, and see what the situation is. No! Didn't think so. Much easier to sit on your comfortable couches and make assine comments while someone else protects Canadian interests. If you don't agree with those interests, then get involved with a political party and change the government. That's democracy. Great men and women VOLUNTEER to serve over there while you ridicule them - what little people you truly are.

PALGOLAK said...

cricket, what Canadian interests are being served by Canada's occupation of another country?

Good money for the people paid to go there, apparently.

cricket said...

What interests? Okay - the alternative - Canada, US, UK and the other coalition countries; Albania, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greeze, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the other eleven ISAF countries - should pull back and leave the country to the course it was on. Which means a return to Taliban control which last time we did that meant free reign for like minded groups - Al'Qaida. You can't see how that is not in the best interests of Canada and indeed the world. 40 different nations are there as part of ISAF. Increase the Army if you want to see them on other missions to protect world human rights - such as Darfur. Which by the way can't be done under traditional UN peace keeping charters, because the Sudanese would not allow us to go in and stop the fighting. By definition of a global community - Canada now has interests outside of its own borders. Keeping extremists groups from turning Afghanistan back into a base of operations, is but just one. An ugly one, but definetly just one.