The Field of Crosses along Calgary’s Memorial Drive hosted to another observance of Remembrance Day this year.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid and the 105th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
More than 3,600 crosses representing southern Albertans who served their country in war make up the Field of Crosses along Memorial Drive between 3 Street N.W. and Centre Street. Each cross has the name, rank, regiment, age and date of death of the soldier it represents.
Field of Crosses founder Murray McCann said each cross tells a story.
“If you’ll stop in front of a cross, it’ll talk to you. You look at the name, 18 – obviously a son – and you think of that family that was deprived of a son,” McCann said. “You think of the fear that that young man had when he went off to war so far from home and it’s overwhelming.”
A parade of Calgary Police Service members, members of the Calgary Fire Department, pipers and drums, the CFD honour guard and Cantare Children’s Choir were part of the proceedings.
Members of a Canadian Armed Forces CF18 jet conducted a flyby of the site before the laying of wreaths and roll call of the fallen soldiers.
And a bugler played Last Post and Rouse while geese could be heard nearby.
The Dieppe Raid on Aug. 19, 1942, was an amphibious attack by Allied forces on the German-held northern France port of Dieppe. Some historians have called it one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s military history after 916 were killed, 2,210 were wounded and 1,946 were taken prisoner.
But military historians also say the lessons learned at Dieppe helped produce the successes of the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy in June 1944.
This year will mark the transition of its care from a veterans’ motorcycle group to CPS volunteers.
Four other Remembrance Day ceremonies took place in Calgary on Friday: at the Hangar Flight Museum, at the Military Museums, at the Canadian Pacific Memorial and at Fort Calgary.