Remembering

Field of Crosses Memorial displays 3,500 Commemorative Cross

To honour Calgarian military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Memorial Drive in Calgary will proudly display more than 3,500 commemorative crosses across five acres in the annual Field of Crosses Memorial display.

The display will be from Nov. 1 to Nov. 11, and all Calgarians are welcome to visit and pay tribute free of charge. In addition, a donation to its adopt-a-cross fundraising initiative is welcome.

Every November, 3,500 crosses are installed to pay tribute to the Southern Albertans that made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom. The Field of Crosses is installed on Memorial Drive, between Centre St. and 3 St. NW in Calgary.

Recognizing Canadian Heroes

The Field of Crosses has been a proud Calgary instalment since 2009. It was founded by Calgary businessman, community builder, and philanthropist J. Murray McCann.

“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.

On November 10, the sunset ceremony includes a candlelight event (the Night of Lights).

“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,” said McCann.

Each cross features the name of a soldier from Calgary or southern Alberta.

The Field of Crosses not only recognizes Southern Albertans who lost their lives in service but also the 120,000 Canadians who gave their lives through 120 special crosses featured within the park.

“This striking display acts as a stark reminder of the atrocities of war while also offering gratitude for those who have fought and fallen for the peace Canadians enjoy today,” stated a press release.

The Field of Crosses has been supported up until now by McCann.

On November 10, the sunset ceremony includes a candlelight event (the Night of Lights). A vigil follows at the cenotaph, where a single sentinel stands with a lantern in hand until sunrise.

Daily events

Every year, the Field of Crosses hosts Eleven Days of Remembrance ceremonies daily up until Remembrance Day. In addition, daily, the Field hosts sunset and sunrise ceremonies and features the following tribute themes:

  • Tuesday, November 1 – Peacekeepers Day
  • Wednesday, November 2 – Navy Day (focus on Merchant Marine)
  • Thursday, November 3 – US Tribute Day (confirmed US Consul General will attend)
  • Friday, November 4 – Air Force Day (focus British Commonwealth Air Training Program)
  • Saturday, November 5 – Youth Day
  • Sunday, November 6 – Memorial Cross Families
  • Monday, November 7 – Army Day (focus on the 105th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge)
  • Tuesday, November 8 – Indigenous Veterans Day
  • Wednesday, November 9 – First Responders Day
  • Thursday, November 10 – Women of War for Sunrise Ceremony
  • Thursday, November 10 – Sunset Ceremony – Special Night of Lights Evening Service Celebrating Peace

To learn more about how to adopt a cross or check out the full schedule of events at the Field of Crosses, visit here.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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