Memorial at Military Museums pays tribute to Calgary soldier killed in Afghanistan
A memorial for Corporal Nathan Hornburg was unveiled at the Military Museums of Calgary on Sunday and family, friends and Canadian Forces members hope it will live on for generations.
Hornburg, 24, was killed in combat in Afghanistan on September 24, 2007 while trying to put a track back on a tank that was under fire.
“It was pretty hard to take. Being pretty close to his family, it was also a pretty rough time for all of us who were back home here just to deal with it so it was very sad,” said Master Corporal Sean Markwell. “Everybody liked him. I can’t think of anybody who didn’t get along with Nathan right, he was that guy so it’s a very strong memory obviously so very special day today that we get to do this.”
He was part of The King’s Own Calgary Regiment and was the first soldier from the regiment to die in action since the Second World War.
Hornburg served with the Lord Strathcona's Horse armoured regiment in Afghanistan and an Armoured Recovery Vehicle similar to the one he used to pilot was emblazoned with his name as a tribute to his sacrifice and service.
An ARV was pulled out of surplus and crews spent about 1300 hours restoring it for the memorial.
“So a way not only to keep his memory alive for us and to show what he meant to us but also to share with the public, to share with Calgary, what one of its own did and what kind of sacrifice he was willing to make,” said Warrant Officer Pablo Fernandez who served with Hornburg.
“This is what Nathan drove when he was overseas, that was his gig,” said Markwell. “I know it’s very special for his dad.”
Officials say it’s tradition to name armoured fighting vehicles and say ARVs that will be used by the regiment in the future will also bear Hornburg’s name.
“It’s good to see that his name is going to go on and that future generations can always see this and be reminded of what kind of happened ten years ago,” said Markwell. “It’s a big day for all of us.”
“He was brilliant, he was dedicated, he was dependable and extremely skilled and in my mind soldiers like that don’t die,” said Fernandez. “To this day I think it’s a big part of who we are as a regiment and it’s definitely shaped me, who I am, as a person and as a soldier as well.”
A dedication ceremony was held on Sunday and the Hornburg ARV will now be a permanent piece at the Military Museums to serve as a working memorial.
For more information on the Military Museums of Calgary, click HERE.