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Ontario sculptures revealed in honour of fallen soldiers – Kingston

A campaign to plant trees along a stretch of Highway 401, called the ‘Highway of Heroes’, is coming to a close.

2.5 million trees have been planted, and to mark the milestone, a new sculpture has been unveiled.

Officer William Chisholm is the most recent in a long line of soldiers in his family.

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“[I’m] fourth generation military,” says Chisholm. “My father was army, my grandfather was air force.”

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As such, he has a very close relationship with the Trees for Life campaign.

“Highway of Heroes is near and dear to my heart,” says Chisholm.

“I am actually part of the land ownership partnership with the Highway of Heroes tree campaign, and have about 1,500 trees on my property.”

Highway of Heroes started as a way of remembering the 158 soldiers lost in the Afghan conflict, and has since grown to honour all Canadian soldiers killed while in the military.

“Our soldiers who defend us, those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, these trees honour them by living on almost in perpetuity,” says David Turnbull, operations manager for the Highway of Heroes.

The goal was to plant 2 million trees — a target surpassed by 500,000 now.

To mark the completion of the campaign, two sculptures were commissioned — one erected at the Port Hope ONroute rest stop, and another in Trenton.

“It’s all divisions, all ethnicities and genders,” says Ruth Abernethy, the sculptor.

“We tried to be as broad as we could in the representation and the picking of the portraits.”

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The installation is appreciated by Officer Chisholm, who recognizes many of the names.

“The fact that there’s recognition happening in conjunction with the Highway of Heroes and the tree campaign is really good to see,” he says.

With the campaign over, the Canadian Trees for Life organization will turn its focus to honour first responders, and all the people who have served Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic.

&copy 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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