Lang's mother didn't want her to go to Afghanistan, brother tells funeral

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Reporter Michelle Lang's brother sobbed as he told his sister's funeral that their mother had warned Lang not to take on the dangerous Afghanistan assignment.

Cameron Lang, who tearfully recounted getting into mischief with his sister when they were children, told mourners he feels guilty that he wasn't able to talk her out of it.

Michael Louie pauses as he speaks during funeral services Monday for his fiance Michelle Lang in Vancouver, B.C. - Photo by The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER -

Reporter Michelle Lang's brother sobbed as he told his sister's funeral that their mother had warned Lang not to take on the dangerous Afghanistan assignment.

Cameron Lang, who tearfully recounted getting into mischief with his sister when they were children, told mourners he feels guilty that he wasn't able to talk her out of it.

But he said she was where she wanted to be.

Lang, a reporter for The Calgary Herald, became the first Canadian journalist killed in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb obliterated the armoured vehicle she was riding in Dec. 30.

Four soldiers were also killed in the blast and four were injured.

A funeral for Sgt. Kirk Taylor was held Monday in Yarmouth, N.S.

More than 2,000 gathered at a hockey arena to pay respects to the soldier, 28, who was laid to rest with full military honours.

He was described as a "natural born leader" who also had a "wild and witty sense of humour."

Lang's funeral had to be held in a banquet hall to accommodate the hundreds of mourners who attended. The 34-year-old grew up in Vancouver before embarking on a journalism career

Her fiance, Michael Louie, told mourners of falling in love, their whirlwind romance and engagement and Lang's love for her work.

"Leaving her after a kiss goodbye in the morning was always the worst part of my day," he said. The sweetest part, he said, was returning to her in the evening.

Lorne Motley, the Herald's editor in chief, said Lang "represented the best of our craft, but even moreso, the best of us as people."

"As her skills and talent grew, Michelle never changed as a person."

Lang was two weeks into a six-week rotation as the Canwest News Service correspondent in Kandahar when she died.

She was travelling off the main military base with a provincial reconstruction team when the vehicle rolled over an improvised explosive device.

Before beginning his Afghanistan tour, Taylor, a reservist with the 84th Independent Field Battery, worked for a non-profit agency in Yarmouth that supports people with disabilities.

His mother, Tina Smith, has said her son's commitment to the Afghan mission never wavered, and the outpouring of grief over her son's death has been a great comfort to her family.

A private interment was to include a gun salute known as a feu de joie, performed by a firing party with the 1st Field Artillery Regiment in Halifax.

Funerals were held Saturday in Edmonton for 21-year-old Cpl. Zachery McCormack and 28-year-old Sgt. George Miok.

Since 2002, 138 Canadian soldiers and two civilians have died during the mission in Afghanistan.

Organizations: The Calgary Herald, Canwest News Service, Field Artillery Regiment

Geographic location: Afghanistan, VANCOUVER, Yarmouth Kandahar Halifax Edmonton

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