19

Chapter 19

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Toronto

Back on the main highway, there was silence between them.  Cameron tilted his head back and then side-to-side.  The fingertips of one hand tap, tap, tapped the vinyl on the door and the fingertips of the other rested on the steering wheel.  His eyes shifted from the road to the rearview mirror.  Nicole was moving across the bench seat from the center to the passenger side window.

“It’s strange,” said Nicole.

“What is?” asked Marie.

“That sign.”

Marie did not lift her head.  The contents of her bag were spread on her lap and she was arranging and rearranging the items.

The sign that the Chevy was about to pass was a Memorial Highway Marker.  Two Edwardian crown capped marker shields, similar to others that had appeared singularly every few minutes as they traveled down the Lake Ontario coast, bordered the highway’s name on a field of blue.  One shield was numbered 401, marking the road as a Canadian highway, and the other displayed a poppy in place of a number.  Between the two shields were the words ‘Highway of Heroes’.

“I read about this memorial,” said Cameron.  “This strip of road is dedicated to Canada’s fallen soldiers.  The soldiers come into the country back at the Trenton military base and then the bodies are convoyed with family members to the coroner’s office in Toronto.”

“Always this way?”

“It started as a phenomena I guess.  Crowds of patriotic Canadians were lining the overpasses to pay tribute to the soldiers and then it became kind of official.”

“I understand,” said Nicole.  “That sounds very nice.”  The sign behind them she found something else of interest.  She moved back to the center of the seat to get a clearer look out the windshield, leaned forward, and rested her head between Cameron and Marie.

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