The Banality of Heroism

One of the stupidest things that I witnessed on vacation was the news story about renaming part of the 401 as “The Highway of Heroes” in honour of the fallen Canadian soldiers who make their last trip down the road.

Red Tory has suitably demolished this stupidity, but I want my two cents in here as well being that I live relatively close to the 401 (or at least closer than RT).

First of all, like renaming 6th Avenue in New York as “Avenue of the Americas” locals simply won’t take to it. 401 is too easy to say and to write, if I were to write out directions for someone I’m not going to spell out the longer version. Moreover 401 has had a long name since the 1960s, MacDonald-Cartier Freeway anyone? No one in Toronto uses that one either.

There are meaningful gestures and even things you can do to materially help our soldiers, and then there is the wankery of renaming highway. Why not bake a maple flavoured cake with an icing flag on it and feed it to a beaver that’s wearing a yellow ribbon being guarded by a mountie in red serge in front of an inukshuk made from back bacon while you’re at it?

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