A procession of limousines arrive at the funeral service
for Pte. Simon Longtin in Longueul, Que. On Aug. 27, 2007.
More than 800 people, including a strong contingent of war veterans crowded inside St. Antoine de Padoue cathedral today in Longueuil, Que. to attend the military funeral of Pte. Simon Longtin. About another 200 mourners lined the streets outside the church in this city, just south of Montreal, to pay their respect to Longtin as his courtege wound its way to and from the church.
Pte. Simon Longtin was remembered as a high-spirited, sociable soldier who put his heart into everything he did. Rev. Yves Lepain, one of the priests leading the service, said the funeral was meant to "honour his effort and his sacrifice" but also to give comfort to his family and friends.
An honour guard carried his coffin, with a large Canadian flag draped over it. Bells that were ringing stopped as his coffin was carried up the steps of the church in silence. Soldiers and veterans -- also in uniform -- lined the steps.
Federal Public Works Minister Michael Fortier and Jean-Marc Fournier, Quebec's minister of revenue, were among the dignitaries attending the funeral.
Longtin, 23, died Aug. 19 when his light armoured vehicle hit a roadside bomb.
He was the first member of Quebec's Royal 22nd Regiment to be killed in the Afghan mission.
Our love and prayers are with you Pte Longtin and your family and friends.