Edmonton prepares to honour soldiers

EDMONTON — Crowds are expected to line the streets of Edmonton on Friday to honour the return of two Edmonton-based soldiers killed in Afghanistan late last month.

EDMONTON — Crowds are expected to line the streets of Edmonton on Friday to honour the return of two Edmonton-based soldiers killed in Afghanistan late last month.

Sgt. George Miok, 28, and Cpl. Zachery McCormack, 21, both from Sherwood Park, east of Edmonton, were killed by an improvised explosive device in Kandahar in Afghanistan on Dec. 30.

Sgt. Kirk Taylor, 28, of Yarmouth, N.S., Pte. Garrett Chidley, 21, of Cambridge, Ont., and journalist Michelle Lang, 34, were also killed in the same attack.

The bodies of Miok and McCormack are expected to arrive at the Edmonton International Airport on Friday, but it will be a private event.

The soldiers’ remains will come back on separate planes.

Their funerals will be held in Sherwood Park on Saturday.

McCormack’s body was expected to arrive around 3 p.m. His casket will be transferred to a waiting hearse, and from there a motorcade will travel through Edmonton and then to Sherwood Park.

It has not yet been confirmed what time the plane carrying Miok’s remains will return.

Miok was a reservist and a teacher at St. Cecilia Junior High School in Edmonton. McCormack, a reservist as well, was on first tour of duty when he was killed. The young man spent much of his time away from the military at the Salisbury Wrestling Club in Edmonton. He was engaged to be married.

To date, 138 soldiers have been killed while serving in Canada’s eight-year mission in Afghanistan.