Field of crosses honouring fallen heroes in Kelowna’s City Park

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Approximately 240 crosses have been put up in Kelowna's City Park to honour local soldiers who died in war. Jules Knox reports – Nov 3, 2018

A field of crosses for local fallen soldiers has been put up in Kelowna’s City Park. Cadets and dragoons set up the memorial on Saturday morning.

“It makes me feel a sense of pride and feel like a proud citizen to be a part of something like this,” cadet Sgt. Beckham Scott-Zvanitajas said. “But it also makes me feel a little bit sad that this was a part of our history.”

“We as Canadians must remember the fallen that have fought for our country and the freedom that we have today.”

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Each cross has the name of a person who died either the First or Second World War or the Korean War, as well as a flower and a flag.

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The fallen heroes’ names are all on the cenotaph, but organizers wanted each person to have their own space where their families and the public can walk and remember.

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“The main reason we’re doing this is so that people of Kelowna can realize how many people actually left Kelowna to go fight in the wars and didn’t come back,” Rotary Club spokesperson Carol Eamer said.

As part of the project, Grade 7 classes will visit the crosses. Each student will be given a name to find and research, Eamer said.

“The idea of the research is to find out what they had to go through and see what kind of conditions they had to fight under,” she added.

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Only one of the fallen was a woman. Twenty-one-year-old Kathleen Kronbauer died of natural causes in Manitoba while serving as a medical clerk for the air force, said Keith Boehmer, a spokesperson for the Okanagan Military Museum.

Scott-Zvanitajas said the crosses had a powerful impact on him.

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“It is something we need to remember, and it’s not something we can just gloss over in history,” he said.

“It’s something we need to remember every year in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”

The memorial also marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War’s armistice.

Opening ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday.

The crosses will be taken down on Nov. 12.

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