Field of Crosses memorial is back and growing stronger
The tradition of setting up the Field of Crosses along Memorial Drive appears to be growing stronger with each year that passes.
David Howard, president of the Field of Crosses committee, said more than 300 people showed up on Saturday to set up the annual memorial.
“It was amazing, it seems to grow every year,” Howard told Metro. “This has certainly become an iconic symbol for our love and respect for those that put on the Canadian Armed Forces uniform, and sadly, those who have passed.”
Every November since 2009, volunteers (under the supervision of the Calgary Unit of the Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Units, or, Ypres 3rd CAV) have set up more than 3,400 crosses in a park along Memorial Drive between 3 Street NW and Centre Street — one cross for each soldier from southern Alberta who has been killed in service.
Each cross is inscribed with the name, age at death, rank, regiment and the date the soldier was killed.
Soldiers who enlisted in southern Alberta, but may not have been born or lived here, are also included, as are several peacekeepers.
From November 1 to November 11, the public is invited to participate in daily sunrise flag raising ceremonies and sunset flag lowering ceremonies – and many do, according to Howard.
“I think we’re expressing our gratitude for our veterans more than we have in the past,” he said. “It’s great to see.”
The Field of Crosses is funded by the McCann Family Foundation and the Canadian Legacy Project.
As businesses struggle with the loss of customers due to construction on 17 Avenue SW, some want to relax liquor laws to bring people back to the street.
The Field of Crosses on Memorial Drive near Centre Street has more than 3,400 crosses.