Military funeral

The funeral for Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell was held today at Linton Military Camp. Linton is the nearest military camp to Tim’s hometown, Feilding. Tim was killed a week ago in Afghanistan. Listen to August 4th 2010 for more about what happened. He is the first New Zealand soldier in 10 years to die while fighting overseas. An Air Force plane brought his body back to New Zealand last Saturday.

The military service lasted two hours today. The Prime Minister, the Governor-General and the Chief of the Defence Force spoke at the service. Members of his family and friends also spoke. About 1200 family, friends and soldiers were present. The New Zealand flag covered the coffin which was placed on a gun carriage. Two Iroquois helicopters flew over at the end and a 21 gun salute finished the service.

At the same time, a public service was held in St Paul’s cathedral, Wellington and another military service was held at Burnham military camp near Christchurch. Tim’s battalion was based at Burnham and he had many friends there. We heard today that he was a leader and a man who loved being a soldier; he had courage and he was well-liked.

The New Zealand flag flew at half mast today on all public buildings to show that the country is mourning the loss of a soldier.

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