Updated: The Norwegian military held a ceremony today to mourn the loss of Lt. Col. Siri Skare.
The Lt. Col. and six others were killed during last Friday’s bloody attack on a United Nation’s building in Mazar-i-Sharif. The assualt wounded tens of others, and the UN is currently reviewing security for its staff.
Press spokesperson Lt. Col. John Inge Øglænd told The Foreigner that her coffin arrived on Thursday just before noon in a C130 Hercules for a very special ceremony.
“Not only was she Norway’s first female military pilot, but the Lt. Col. was type-rated for this particular aircraft,” Mr. Øglænd said.
Major General Finn Kristian Hannestad, Inspector General of the air force, held a speech in which he acknowledged the Lt. Col.'s service to Norway at today’s memorial, preceding a sermon by a priest from the military.
“It is with deep sadness we deliver Siri to her immediate family today. We show respect for the sacrifice she made when she gave her life for Norway, the United Nations and the people of Afghanistan,” he said during the military ceremony in the glass hangar at Oslo Gardermoen military station.
It was a sunny day with blue clear skies when the Hercules C-130 from the same squadron Lt. Col Skare once served in brought her home for the last time, approaching the hangar with stopped propellers to signal a fallen soldier on board.
“She was positive, happy, purposeful and full of laughter. She had a genuine interest in people around her, and was exceedingly fond and proud of her daughter Aurora,” said Maj. Gen Hannestad.
HRH Crown Prince Haakon, Minister of Defense Grete Faremo, together with government and military officials also joined mourners at the solemn service.
Lt. Col. Siri Skare was the tenth Norwegian killed in Afghanistan. A private funeral will be held next week outside Åndalsnes where she originated from, and all flags will be flying at half-mast.
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