The Field of Crosses memorial project is an annual tribute to southern Alberta soldiers who enlisted and lost their lives while defending our freedom in Canada’s wars and peacekeeping missions.
Located in city park space along Memorial Drive, the startlingly visual memorial is made up of over 3,400 white crosses, displayed from Nov. 1 to 12. Each cross is engraved with the soldier’s name, age at death, rank, regiment and date of death.
Global News coverage begins at 10:30 a.m MT with news anchor Linda Olsen hosting our live broadcast of #CalgaryRemembers.
Olsen will introduce viewers to veterans, youth and volunteers from the Field of Crosses who reflected on why Remembrance Day is so important for them and why other Canadians should take time to remember the sacrifices of our veterans.
Global’s Jordan Witzel will be Master of Ceremonies for the Remembrance Day ceremony itself, set to begin at 10:40 a.m. MT and culminating in the observation of two minutes of silence to honour those who died in the line of duty.
The two minutes of silence are annually observed at 11 a.m. of the 11th day of the 11th month, marking the moment the fighting of the First World War ended in 1918.
The Field of Crosses project, which began in 2009, is an initiative of the McCann Family Foundation, started by Murray McCann, and the late George Bittman of the Calgary Poppy Fund.
At sunrise each morning from Nov. 1 to 11 there is a flag-raising ceremony at the Field of Crosses, which includes a local school singing the national anthem, a bugler and a piper. The ceremonies are also attended by family and friends of fallen soldiers, veterans, national, provincial and local dignitaries along with members of the public.
A separate ceremony is held at sunset each evening when the flags are lowered.
It is estimated more than 4,000 men and women from southern Alberta have been killed serving our country. Each year additional crosses are added to the Field of Crosses.