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Michelle Lang remembered as a 'persistent' reporter - Metro US

Michelle Lang remembered as a ‘persistent’ reporter

“We remember her as our baby.”

So began Art Lang’s short but poignant eulogy for his daughter Michelle Lang, a Calgary Herald reporter and native Vancouverite who was one of four Canadians killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Dec. 30.

“Michelle was always interested in (Afghanistan),” Art Lang said during her funeral at the Italian Cultural Centre, which was attended by as many as 500 people.

“(She) was there to tell us about what was happening in that fractured country.”

The 34-year-old’s flag-draped casket sat at the front of the auditorium while a slideshow of her life played on a screen and her family and closest friends took turns at the podium to talk about the woman they called their “light.”

Consistent among the eulogies were references to her compassion, tenacity, passion for journalism, love for her family, perpetual tardiness and propensity toward practical jokes.

Friends remembered how she hitchhiked to her first shift at the Regina Leader-Post because her car broke down in the snow, and how she accidentally drove backwards through a Tim Hortons drive-thru.

“Knowing Michelle, she’d be slightly embarrassed to hear us speak like this of her,” said Lorne Motley, editor-in-chief of the Calgary Herald.

“She wanted to tell the stories not being told, and that led her to hold up her hand to go to Afghanistan” he said.

Michael Louie, Lang’s fiancé, said it’s the “simple everyday” things he’ll miss, remembering the kiss he gave her every morning – while she was still asleep – before he left for work.

“Leaving her in the morning was always the worst part of the day … (When she came home) from work it was like falling in love with her all over again.”

“Right now, somehow, all of this still remains unreal to me,” he said. “On Jan. 23, a small part of me will still wonder if she’ll be at the airport waiting for me to pick her up.”

“The world was a better place with her in it,” said her brother, Cameron Lang, before launching into a story about one of their childhood fights that was so intense they scared away their cleaning lady.

“I could go on all day telling stories,” he said with a laugh that turned into sobs.

“She was stubborn, adventurous, courageous, persistent – all these things led her to Afghanistan. Maybe if I’d tried just a little harder to convince her not to go, she would have stayed.”

“But it’s precisely what we loved her for that led her to that convoy in Kandahar. She died doing what she loves and we should take solace in that.”

That sentiment was echoed by Art Lang, who travelled to Afghanistan in the early 70s when the country was still relatively stable.

“Michelle will not be here to see the renaissance (of Afghanistan), but let’s hope there will be that outcome,” he said. “That will be a tribute to her so that her death, and so many other deaths, will not have been in vain.”

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