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Final soldiers in Afghanistan return home to Canada

93 men and women back home after mission ended last week

The last 93 Canadian soldiers to leave Afghanistan are being welcomed home with the news that May 9 will be designated a day of honour to commemorate their work.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the day will be dedicated to recognizing the efforts of the military in Afghanistan and to remember the 158 soldiers killed as part of the mission.

The troops filed off a C-17 transport plane to a receiving line that included Harper, Gov. Gen. David Johnston and Gen. Tom Lawson, the chief of the defence staff.

They then moved into a cavernous hangar to hugs and kisses from loved ones and a hearty welcome home from Johnston.

Their plane arrived with an escort of two CF-18 fighter jets.

The Canadians formally lowered their flag in Kabul last week, marking the end of a mission that began with the deployment of some special forces soldiers in late 2001.

In addition to the 158 military dead, a Canadian diplomat, a journalist and two civilian contractors were also killed.

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