Thursday, December 31, 2009

Calgary City Hall lowers flag as tribute to Herald journalist

Today Calgarians are mourning the loss of four Canadian soldiers, and a Calgary journalist, killed yesterday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Michelle Lang, an award -winning reporter for The Calgary Herald, was of those lost in this tragic incident. Ms Lang is the first Canadian journalist killed while covering events in the Afghan warzone.

“It is a very sad day for Canada and for Calgary,” said Mayor Dave Bronconnier, “Our hearts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the soldiers who gave their lives while serving us overseas. Our thoughts are with Michelle’s family and friends too. She was an outstanding, hard-working and professional journalist, who was eager to tell Canadians back home about what was happening on the ground in Afghanistan. She will be deeply missed in our community.”

The Calgary flag in front of Historic City Hall has been lowered to half-mast in tribute to Michelle’s life, and will remain so until sundown on the day of her funeral.

Traditionally, all flags in front of Historic City Hall are lowered to half-mast in tribute to Calgary soldiers who have fallen in the line of service overseas. Given Ms Lang’s special contribution to our city, and her role working along -side Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, telling their stories to us back home, it is appropriate that our community’s flag be lowered in her honour.

Mayor Bronconnier cited sentiments offered by former Canadian Chief of Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier (Ret), who said, “Those who report on the war and did it from the front lines…deserve a special place in our history.” The Mayor said, “Michelle’s life and loss have certainly earned her a special place in Calgary’s history. She will be fondly remembered, and dearly missed.”

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