February 2017 

We have 'hero' trees.

We have 'service' trees.

And each day we learn more about the significance of each.

To be clear, we are planting 117,000 trees ON the Highway of Heroes between CFB Trenton and the Coroners office at Keele St. and Hwy 401 in Toronto [170 kilometres] to acknowledge the sacrifice made by the same number of people who died in service to Canada during conflicts like WWI and WWII. These trees are what we call 'hero' trees.

OFF the highway, within about one kilometre of it, we are planting 2.1 million trees. One tree for each person who volunteered for military service while Canada has been at war. These are what we call 'service' trees.

This past month our team drove the Highway of Heroes to CFB Kingston to see a feature film titled, 'Almost Sunrise'. It is the story of two American veterans from the Iraqi war and their journey with post traumatic stress disorder [PTSD]. The event was hosted by a modern Canadian ware hero, Master Corporal [retired] Collin Fitzgerald. He has become an advocate for PTSD sufferers and knows something about it, as his own journey is an amazing story. 

You can continue to follow Collin on his journey by liking his Facebook page .

The movie convinced me that the 2.1 'service' trees are as important as our 'hero' trees. While we stand in silence every November for two minutes to remember our fallen, how much more time do we give to remembering and acknowledging the sacrifice that our military service personnel give to protect and secure our freedom? How sincere is our 'thank you' while PTSD is a real burden for many?

I will contemplate these questions while planting trees during our public tree plantings this spring.

Public Plantings
We are getting closer to a full schedule of public plantings this spring. Check them out, below.

The Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Scott Bryk, Tony Digiovanni and I met with the lieutenant governor of Ontario on Jan. 26th  while attending the 70th anniversary celebration of the Garden Club of Toronto. We took the  opportunity to tell her Honour about the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute and she listened  carefully and asked some great questions. We will be reaching out to her with an invite to join  us for a ceremonial tree planting sometime in the future. Stay tuned.

Please read on and find out what is going on with our important campaign.
And accept my thanks for your ongoing interest, donations and the support that you provide.
A reminder to PLEASE pass this newsletter on to others whom you think will be interested  in  our work.

Yours, as ever,
Mark Cullen, CM
Chair, Highway of Heroes Living Tribute

p.s. Forests Ontario is sending out 900 letters by snail mail to prospects who might be
interested in a.) planting subsidized trees on their property and b.) supporting the Highway of
Heroes Living Tribute. We are grateful for the support of Forests Ontario: without them we
would not be planting on the highway right-of-way! 

Remembering Hervé - Keeper of Canada's remembrance flame in Normandy
(Photo and original article by Richard Foot - The Globe and Mail)

Hervé Hoffer and his wife, Nicole, outside their summer-home-turned-museum in Bernières sur-Mer in 2012. 
(Photo by Richard Foot)

"Every year at the beginning of June, Hervé Hoffer lit a paraffin lantern and hung it from the balcony of his summer house overlooking the coast of Normandy, France. After sunset on June 6 - the anniversary of D-Day - crowds watched Mr. Hoffer carry the flickering lantern down to the beach and wade, fully clothed into the sea, where he tossed the lantern into the English Channel.
Speaking in French, he called it "a symbolic gesture to the Canadians who came from the sea, to give us back our freedom."

Mr. Hoffer died suddenly on January 13th - the tributes to this generous man have been pouring in ever since. 
Many of you have shared stories with us on Facebook:

Frank Moore  wrote: "Herve, thank you for all you have done for Canadians. May you rest in peace. Nicole hosted us just last April while you were away at work and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your warmth and generosity to the hundreds of Canadians who have visited with you over the years."

Scott Hodgson  wrote: "My uncle landed near this house with the Black Watch Regiment of Canada a month after D -day as reinforcements. He never said anything about the war just pointed out the house from a pic I was looking at in a book as a kid."

Douglas Graves wrote: "My wifes uncle Ted was wounded in the 1st wave attack on the beach. He was taken to this house once his regiment, The Queen's Own Rifles of Toronto pushed out the Germans and set up a command post and aid station. Much respect and RIP sir. Someone will carry on your tradition."

Nita McCullough-Shaw wrote: "Thank you Sir. RIP. My Dad and I were over there a few years ago. So many memories for my Dad. That was were he came ashore."

They Fought So We Could Love 

As Valentines Day approaches you may be thinking of what to get that special someone who has everything. Donate to the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute in your loved one's name and give a gift that will last just as long as your love

Hundreds of Canadians have joined this movement from coast to coast.  You can be one of them.  See what has inspired others by following us on Facebook and Twitter and clicking on the hashtag #150Tree. Better yet, join in the conversation and tell us what inspired you to join the #150Tree movement!

Join us on Earth Day - April 22nd, 2017 - And More!
It's winter but we're busy planning the  details of our 2017 tree planting events. This year our planting activities will be larger and we'll have more activities for volunteers of all ages

We are also looking for volunteers to join our fundraising team!  Do you have event experience and want to contribute to the cause by donating your time?  Visit the links below to learn of upcoming opportunities.
Planting Events 
April 22nd - Toronto
April 22nd - Ajax
May 13th - Whitby

Fundraising Events 
March 10-19 -  Canada Blooms, Toronto
April 7-9 -  Green Living Show, Toronto

CLICK HERE for further details and to register as a volunteer.

Highway of Heroes Living Tribute In the News 

It is no surprise to see Canadians from coast to coast get behind the campaign, which is why you may have noticed media coverage through your local media outlet.  But in case you missed it, we archiving it all!  Click below to watch the video segment recently aired on Global News, Montreal and follow links to other recent articles.  Be sure to regularly visit the campaign website to see if the word is getting out in YOUR community!

Royal Canadian Legion Branches Among First to the Front Lines   
Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 110 - Trenton: Dianne King, acting president, Beth Bouchard, Ena Newman and Norma Henn present Mike Hurley of the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute with a cheque.
Photo Credit: Erin Stewart/Metroland

In November of 2015 the campaign to complete the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute began. This battle is one of many that is a part of the overall war against climate change.  The mission of planting 117,000 trees is only possible with strong allies.

Some of the first groups to stand shoulder to shoulder with the campaign have been branches of The Royal Canadian Legion. This past month, Mike Hurley was presented with contributions as a result of fundraising efforts from RCL Branch 110 in Trenton and RCL Branch 527 (Wilson Ave.) in Toronto.

 Royal Canadian Legion Wilson Branch 527 members volunteering at a HOHLT tree planting event.
On behalf of the entire HOHLT Team, we'd like to thank each of the RCL Branches th at have supported our campaign thus far:

- RCL 110 - Trenton, ON
- RCL 527 - (Wilson) Toronto, ON
- RCL 580 - Grafton, ON
- RCL 133 - Cobourg, ON
- RCL 178 - (Norwood) Edmonton, AB
- RCL 577 - Bewdley, ON

For it is always the strongest, 
the bravest, 
and the most honourable
 that volunteer to go first.

If you belong to a community organization that is interested in organizing a fundraiser for the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute, visit the Community Fundraiser page on our website.

The Etobicoke Horticultural Society's Generous Support

It was a pleasure to present the campaign to the Etobicoke Horticultural Society AGM this month. Attending the meeting was local resident and gardener, Donna Cansfield, former MPP and Ontario Minister of Transportation. Donna was a driving force behind the legislation that officially designated of the Highway of Heroes in 2007.  Also pictured is Marta Krywonis, President of the Etobicoke Horticultural Society. Thank you to the members of this dynamic group, who's activities in the community engage with so many. There is a lot of fantastic gardening happening in Etobicoke!

Honour & Remembrance
You continue to  share stories of friends and family members who served in the Canadian Armed Forces defending Canada in times of war and peace - some making the ultimate sacrifice.  Many honoured friends and colleagues who, in your experience, are heroes too. We honour those specifically named with a donation in January - 100% of which goes to purchase, plant and maintain Hero Trees planted along the Highway of Heroes.

We Honour & Remember:
LVCPL. John Marshall, 48th Highlanders; KIA, Italy, October 24th, 1943.

We Recognize:
Corporal Antonio Durand:   B-101033 Canadian Army;  Served in Canada, Britain, North West Europe:  1939 - 45
Private Raymond H. Mooney, (D91455) serving with distinction in WWII.

Mark Cullen Receives Lifetime Achievement Award 
Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Chair, Mark Cullen became only the 10th person to ever receive the rare distinction of Honourary Life Member by Landscape Ontario. CLICK ABOVE to watch the touching presentation.
Don't Forget Those Aeroplan Points

You can support the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute by donating Aeroplan points.

We will use miles donated for fundraising purposes and to help connect family members of fallen soldiers to our ceremonial plantings!

Visit our Aeroplan Beyond Miles page and donate.  Help us reach our goal of raising 1,000,000 miles!

Executive Director Summary  

We increasingly have the privilege of speaking to Canadians in towns and cities across the country. Individuals, groups and businesses ask us; "How can we get involved?"
I like to answer this way:
"How many names are on YOUR local cenotaph? How many men and women from YOUR local community have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of freedom? Are you energized to support the fight against climate change? Organize and raise funds to plant a tree for each of YOUR local heroes along the Highway of Heroes. Share the stories of the people of your community. Lest we forget!"
We'd love to hear from you. Let us know how we can help engage your local community in the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute campaign.

We'd like to thank our hosts this month for allowing us the opportunity to speak to and share the message of the Living Tribute. The Etobicoke Horticultural Society, The Garden Club of Toronto, The Twin Lakes Probus Clubs, Orillia Horticultural Society, RCL Branch 34, RCL Branch 110 Trenton, and TD Friends of The Environment.
And finally, we hope to see many of our supporters and friends in the coming months at Canada Blooms and   The Green Living Show

Scott Bryk
Executive Director
Highway of Heroes Living Tribute