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Calgary’s 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony at the Field of Crosses

WATCH: The full broadcast of Global News' coverage of the 2020 Remembrance Day services from the Field of Crosses.

A very different, smaller crowd gathered at the Field of Crosses Memorial Project Wednesday to mark Remembrance Day 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are no sunrise or sunset ceremonies at the site on Remembrance Day, and the 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony was held virtually. Typically, hundreds gather to pay their respects to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in honour of our country.

Read more: How to attend sunrise and sunset ceremonies at Calgary’s Field of Crosses amid COVID-19

Wreaths were laid during the ceremony as the names of southern Alberta soldiers who died in battle were read aloud, photos of their faces held up by members of the Cantare Children’s Choir, who also sang.

Click to play video 'Remembrance Day 2020: ‘Last Post’ is played at Calgary’s Field of Crosses' Remembrance Day 2020: ‘Last Post’ is played at Calgary’s Field of Crosses
Remembrance Day 2020: ‘Last Post’ is played at Calgary’s Field of Crosses – Nov 11, 2020

The Sorrel Rider Drum Circle also performed as part of the ceremony, with Darcy Turning Robe telling Global News it was “very touching” to be among those honouring Canada’s fallen soldiers.

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“We were named after my grandfather, a World War II veteran. Sorrel Rider was his Indian name,” he said.

“Just being part of it and getting to sing all these beautiful songs that were gifted by my grandfather before he left this world and get to sing it along with my ancestors, along with the Bow River here, it means so much for many First Nations [people].

“We were very proud, very emotional. I just finished shedding some tears over there.”

 

Click to play video 'Remembrance Day 2020: Siksika First Nation member on importance of recognizing Indigenous sacrifice' Remembrance Day 2020: Siksika First Nation member on importance of recognizing Indigenous sacrifice
Remembrance Day 2020: Siksika First Nation member on importance of recognizing Indigenous sacrifice – Nov 11, 2020

Turning Robe said that when his grandfather was alive, he would accompany him to wreath-laying ceremonies on the Siksika First Nation.

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“When he’d talk about going [to war] — and mind you, a lot of them didn’t have to go — but he thought that he wanted to go and serve for freedom and what it stood for.”
Click to play video 'Remembrance Day 2020: Murray McCann reads ‘In Flanders Fields’' Remembrance Day 2020: Murray McCann reads ‘In Flanders Fields’
Remembrance Day 2020: Murray McCann reads ‘In Flanders Fields’ – Nov 11, 2020

The Field of Crosses was closed to the public from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, and only those taking part in the ceremony were allowed in during that time.

Sorrel Rider Drum Circle performs at the 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony at the Field of Crosses in Calgary.
Sorrel Rider Drum Circle performs at the 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony at the Field of Crosses in Calgary. Global News
Members of the Calgary Police Service lay a wreath at the Field of Crosses as part of the 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony.
Members of the Calgary Police Service lay a wreath at the Field of Crosses as part of the 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony. Global News
An RCMP officer is seen at the 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony at the Field of Crosses in Calgary.
An RCMP officer is seen at the 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony at the Field of Crosses in Calgary. Global News
A veteran is seen at the 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony at the Field of Crosses in Calgary.
A veteran is seen at the 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony at the Field of Crosses in Calgary. Global News

When the Field of Crosses opens at 2 p.m., it will be limited to 100 people at any given time.

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According to officials, Alberta Health Services asked people not to congregate off-site, and that onlookers not congregate along Memorial Drive opposite the Field of Crosses.

Click to play video 'Remembrance Day 2020: Piper sounds the lament ‘Flowers of the Forest’ at Calgary’s Field of Crosses' Remembrance Day 2020: Piper sounds the lament ‘Flowers of the Forest’ at Calgary’s Field of Crosses
Remembrance Day 2020: Piper sounds the lament ‘Flowers of the Forest’ at Calgary’s Field of Crosses – Nov 11, 2020