The Field of Crosses honours the sacrifices made by those who have served in Canada’s military and crowds of Calgarians have gathered each day for sunrise flag raising ceremonies.
Over 3000 white crosses have been placed, row upon row, in the field on Memorial Drive and pay tribute to soldiers from across southern Alberta who have lost their lives during active duty, serving our country.
Murray McCann got the idea for the project when he came across a number of crosses during a drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains on Memorial Day.
“It had such an impact on me. I wanted to get to Calgary immediately, hoping that it would have the same impact on Calgarians that those few crosses had on me,” he said. “In November we had our first Field of Crosses but at that time we had some 600 crosses because there was no way of knowing where the soldiers were from and then we researched them all.”
Sunrise services have been held at the site since November 1st and on Friday, five flags were raised while service members and first responders looked on.
“You can be standing here and you can see 1918, time of death, age, 26 years old, and you can see 1942, age of death 50, and then you can see 2006, age of death 24, so you’re seeing the whole thing from the Boar War to the present day,” said volunteer and veteran, Dan McLean.
“Today is, I think, one of our largest crowds for our morning ceremonies,” said volunteer Donna Wiesckowski. “It’s just amazing seeing everybody come out and pay their respects to the soldiers that are in our field.”
Dave Howard is the Field of Crosses President and says Calgarians have embraced the project over the last nine years.
“I’ve been thrilled to be a part of it but it’s because of Calgary’s support and all the volunteers that has made it such a great success and it’s an iconic symbol now in Calgary and we’re happy to put it on,” he said. “Really it’s an opportunity to learn and pay your respects, as well, pay respect for those who continue to stand on guard for this great country.”
On Saturday, services at the Field of Crosses start at 10:30 a.m. and about 6000 people are expected to attend.
Remembrance Day services will be held at a number of locations across the city and CTV Calgary will livestream the service from The Military Museums on our website beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Click HERE for LIVESTREAM details and more information on Calgary ceremonies.