When: Wednesday January 9, 3:30 p.m.
A trumpeter, flanked by an honour guard, played "Amazing Grace."
Labbe's six-year military career included an overseas posting, a 2002 rotation in the former Yugoslavia.
Massouh, who was born in Alexandria, Egypt, but had lived in Quebec since 1968, was a career soldier, having served in the Forces for more than 17 years. Massouh, whose five-year old daughter did not attend the ceremony, was just weeks from retiring from the military.
He had previously been deployed to Haiti, Croatia, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia.
"There is a lot of emotion right now," said Gaetan Labbe, Eric's uncle. "We'll get over it, but it's very difficult," "Eric had the desire and interest to pursue his (military) career," Labbe's family said in a statement last night. "Eric was doing what he loved and we are very proud of him. He always had our support in pursuing his career."
"It was pretty rough for Éric's parents," said a cousin, Marie-Claude Labbé. "My uncle, he gets a call in the morning saying that his sister had died, then in the evening he learns that his son has died. It was too much."
He was a veteran of several overseas missions. Prior to leaving for Afghanistan this summer, Massouh had previously been deployed to Haiti, Croatia, Somalia and the former Yugoslavia.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised the work done by Massouh and Labbe won't be forgotten.
"They deserve the gratitude of all Canadians for their commitment and the work they performed on our behalf," Harper said. "Warrant Officer Massouh and Corporal Labbe made an important contribution to the lives of the people of Afghanistan."
For Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, their deaths reinforce the view that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place to operate.
"With the New Year having just begun, this new tragedy reminds us of the perilous conditions our soldiers are facing in Afghanistan," Jean said. "I salute their merit, their hard work and all the sacrifices they made so fearlessly."
Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Quebec Premier Jean Charest also expressed their condolences.
"It is important that we reiterate our support for our troops who are serving in Afghanistan and are working towards a noble cause," Charest said.
The occasion was the repatriation of the remains of two Canadian soldiers, W/O Hani Massouth and Cpl Eric Labbe, who were killed in Afghanistan this week. On every bridge starting in Ajax and east from there, there was at least one fire truck with its lights flashing and a group of people waving Canadian flags in tribute to the dead heroes on their final journey home.
As the Toronto-bound convoy bearing the hearses of the dead soldiers passed beneath each bridge, those above came to attention, the firefighters and police officers silently saluting, while the civilians showed their support by waving the Maple Leaf.
What was particularly notable was that the further east one went, the more people stood on the bridges until somewhere around Cobourg and Port Hope there was standing room only.