Date: Oct 27, 2022

Michael Franklin

The Field of Crosses in Calgary. (Getty Images)

Thousands of crosses, each bearing the name of a person who gave their life in service to this country, are now set up in Calgary’s Field of Crosses along Memorial Drive.

Volunteers worked through the city’s Saturday snowstorm to support the initiative, placing 3,500 white crosses throughout the five acres of park along the roadway.

The installation, which was established in 2009, includes daily sunrise and sunset ceremonies every day from Nov. 1 to Remembrance Day, officials say.

There will also be a ‘Night of Lights’ evening service on Nov. 10, as well as a full ceremony on Nov. 11.

Officials say the events at the Field of Crosses are open to the public and are free of charge.

J. Murray McCann, chairman of the Field of Crosses, says members of the public need to experience it in-person to understand the scope of the project and the gravity of the sacrifice of so many.

“Reading or hearing the number 3,500 does not nearly compare to seeing five acres of crosses, each representing a fallen soldier and honouring their sacrifice for this country,” he said in a release.

“It’s for this reason, we encourage all to walk amongst the crosses, stop in front of each one that moves them and pay their respects to that soldier by quietly calling their name out loud while holding their hand over their heart, expressing whatever sentiment they are feeling.”

Each of the events, held each day in November leading up to Remembrance Day have a special theme included with it:

  •  Tuesday, Nov. 1 – Peacekeepers Day;
  •  Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Navy Day (focus on Merchant Marine);
  •  Thursday, Nov. 3 – U.S. Tribute Day (confirmed U.S. Consul General will attend);
  •  Friday, Nov. 4 – Air Force Day (focus British Commonwealth air training program);
  •  Saturday, Nov. 5 – Youth Day;
  •  Sunday, Nov. 6 – Memorial Cross families;
  •  Monday, Nov. 7 – Army Day (focus on 105th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge);
  •  Tuesday, Nov. 8 – Indigenous Veterans Day;
  •  Wednesday, Nov. 9 – First Responders’ Day;
  •  Thursday, Nov. 10 – Women of War for sunrise ceremony; and
  •  Thursday, Nov. 10 – sunset ceremony – special Night of Lights evening service celebrating peace.

Calgarians looking to support the Field of Crosses can do so through the organization’s ‘adopt-a-cross’ fundraiser. The group says the installation became a registered charity in 2018, which is overseen by an independent board of directors.

Full information on the Field of Crosses and how to donate to the campaign can be found online.

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