FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Trans-Canada Highway (Route 2) in New Brunswick has been officially named the Highway of Heroes.

Premier David Alward as well as federal, provincial, municipal and military officials attended a commemoration ceremony today at Officer’s Square in Fredericton. They were joined by members of the New Brunswick 2nd Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Unit, which has been spearheading the establishment of a national Highway of Heroes.

"New Brunswick has proudly become the fourth province in Canada and the first one in the Maritimes to have a dedicated Highway of Heroes," Alward said. "It is a pleasure to name officially the highway for those who serve their country, protect others and respond to the needs of communities around our province. It is an important gesture to make sure their efforts are not forgotten."

Two large blue highway signs have been erected along the Trans-Canada Highway, one near Mazerolle Settlement and the other in Lower Burton proclaiming Route 2 as the Highway of Heroes.

The Highway of Heroes pays tribute to all fallen peacekeepers, soldiers, emergency responders, firefighters and law enforcement officers from or based in New Brunswick.

"These are the people who make our country and our province a great place to live and a safe place to live," Alward said. "The signs are a reminder of their service and dedication and their commitment to making the world a better place. Without the effort of these New Brunswickers, we would not have the freedom and quality of life we enjoy every day. Many have served and died while striving to make this province great."

Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, the Royal Canadian Legion, other veterans' organizations and emergency and community service groups were also represented. A musical performance was provided by The Trews, a well-known Canadian rock band from Antigonish, N.S.

The ceremony was followed by a parade and march-past along Saint Anne’s Point Drive and Queen Street in Fredericton. It consisted of veterans, current and former peace officers, firefighters, paramedics and Canadian Forces personnel.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure received a request for the designation from the New Brunswick 2nd Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Unit in July 2011. The organization has been approaching all the provinces about the initiative. British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario also have a designated Highway of Heroes.