A memorial globe to the fallen Canadian soldiers is being created to be installed at The Big Apple just off Highway 401 in Colborne later this year.
Shawn Donnan from Horizon Metal Works in Stirling is in the process of making a Highway of Heroes globe that will be seen by thousands once installed in May.
General Manager of The Big Apple, Sylvia Nagy said the memorial will be installed overlooking the pond/fountain and be a place of reflection.
The Afghanistan conflict/war began was from 2001 to 2014. During that time 158 Canadian soldiers died on missions and in theatre.
Each fallen soldier was repatriated at CFB Trenton then travelled along what became known as the Highway of Heroes to the coroners office in Toronto before released to their families.
Shawn Donnan was approached by Nagy from The Big Apple approximately two years ago about creating a unique Highway of Heroes globe.
The two met at The Big Apple along with a few others to work out the details of the project and where it would be placed.
Nagy said it was “grassroots Canadian patriotism” that brought people to stand on bridges whenever a fallen soldier came home.
It’s the third Highway of Heroes globe that Donnan has been commissioned to do in the last several years.
One was privately commissioned for Kingston resident Kerri Tadeu who adopted the entire section of highway and cleans it twice a year. Another globe was made for the City of Quinte West and this third one which will be the largest is for The Big Apple.
Today’s Northumberland recently visited Donnan at his shop while he was working on the globe.
Donnan said he is about halfway done putting in approximately 60-hours, but still has at least another 60-hours to go.
“There’s lots to do on it yet.”
Along with work on the outside of the globe, he has to go inside to do work and admits he’s not as young as he used to be.
“I have to polish the whole inside, finish welding, then polish and clean it all up, then powder coat it.”
The globe depicts the journey of the soldier from Afghanistan to CFB Trenton then along the Highway of Heroes to Toronto.
Donnan concedes it’s a lot of work, “but I enjoy it. If you love what you do – it’s not work.”
“For me, being a Canadian like these guys (soldiers), they poured their heart and soul into this Country and to be able to give back on something like this – it’s really special.”
“We have no idea when we go to Tim Hortons or work how easy our life is, and if it wasn’t for these people (soldiers) it could be a lot harder.”