Premier Alison Redford was among the friends and family gathered in Calgary at St. Stephen's Church Sunday to pay tribute to a fallen local soldier.

Cpl. Nathan Hornburg was killed during operations in Afghanistan in 2007 as he repaired a tank during a patrol in the country's volatile south.

"It's a privilege for me to be able to stand in this building and to think once again about Nathan Hornburg, a man who has touched so many people in our community and in our province," Redford said.

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Cpl. Nathan Hornburg, 24, had only been in Afghanistan four months when he was killed by a mortar shell. (Melissa Spence/Canadian Armed Forces)

Hornburg was the first member of the King's Own Calgary Regiment to die in battle since the Second World War. The regiment presented the church with a plaque bearing Hornburg's name as his father, Michael, looked on.

"There's very few days when I'm not moved to tears still by remembering my son," he said. "So, it was just a nice opportunity to share some tears with friends."

At his family's request, Hornburg received a public funeral led by the King's Own Calgary Regiment.

The memorial hall at the church was dedicated in 1923 to 147 members of the parish who served in the First World War. The names of 26 of them who died are also inscribed on a memorial plaque in the chapel.