Sunday 21 January 2024

Bowmanville - Highway of Heroes Durham LAV


Location:  Durham Region     N 43.89255   W -78.70052

Located at the Clarington Fields sports facility, 2375 Baseline Road West, Bowmanville.


The following excerpt taken from

"Durham MP Erin O’Toole describes the Highway of Heroes Durham Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) Monument as a place to pay tribute to Canada’s role in Afghanistan — but more importantly it will mark a highway that has become a symbol of honouring fallen soldiers.

"All of Canada has great respect for the Highway of Heroes but only a few communities are actually along the highway and can be the sort of guardian of that legacy," he explains. "The Durham Region is most of the Highway of Heroes."

The Municipality of Clarington, Ont. has provided a large grassy area within its sports fields located adjacent to the Highway of Heroes for the monument and parkette project. The area is accessible from the 401 Highway of Heroes at the Waverley Road exit — a bridge where Clarington residents often stood for repatriations.

"Our community has been very cognizant of the Afghanistan conflict. We’re very proud of the military," adds O’Toole. "That was heightened when we lost Darryl Caswell. His funeral was a major turning point for the community." Trooper Caswell was raised in Bowmanville, which is located within the municipality, and was killed in action in June 2007. His name was added to the cenotaph in Bowmanville and there is a street named in his honour. Colonel Geoff Parker was also killed in action in Afghanistan in May 2010. His widow and family now reside in Courtice.

"We all hope there will never be another trip down the Highway of Heroes but we shouldn’t forget it," says O’Toole.

The LAV monument project is a national initiative of Canada Company, which is a charitable, non-partisan organization "that serves to build the bridge between business and community leaders and the Canadian Military," a release explains.

The monument will be created from a demilitarized and decommissioned LAV III hull, donated by the Government of Canada.

"The LAV in many ways is the iconic vehicle of that mission," O’Toole states. "It’s made in London, Ont. This is a tradition of having these pieces of military hardware serve as a bit of a historic marker."

The LAV will act as the centrepiece of the parkette, which will also feature commemorative markers and areas of reflection.

Nationally, the Highway of Heroes Durham LAV Monument will be the only monument placed approximate to the highway in Ontario.  Locally, it will acknowledge dozens of Durham residents who served in Afghanistan and help mark 150 years of service of Durham’s Ontario Regiment."


Several signs accompany the LAV to help educate visitors of the significance of the LAV Memorial and the Afghan mission.  The story boards are titled "Thirteen years in Afghanistan", "Timeline of the Afghan Mission", "In Memory of Private Darryl James Caswell", "The Highway of Heroes", and "The Ontario Regiment".  You can click on the photos of the signs to read them more clearly.







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