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Calgary volunteers add final touches to Field of Crosses during Night of Lights

Click to play video: 'Calgary students light candles, ensuring every fallen soldier individually honoured'
Calgary students light candles, ensuring every fallen soldier individually honoured
WATCH: Students and staff from Saint Mary’s University set up candles for the Night of Lights at Calgary’s Field of Crosses. As Michael King reports, the lanterns ensure every soldier is individually honoured. – Nov 11, 2022

On Thursday, staff and students from St. Mary’s University placed lit candles at the base of each and every one of the 3,620 markers that make up Calgary’s Field of Crosses.

It’s part of the Night of Lights which ensures that every service member honoured at the annual display is individually recognized on the eve of Remembrance Day.

Read more: Field of Crosses ceremony to mark 80th anniversary of Dieppe, 105 years since Vimy Ridge

Brianne Dangerfield is a fifth-year history student at St. Mary’s and said the process of placing each lantern allowed her to reflect on those who lost their lives in combat.

“We make sure that every single year their name is said and they’re remembered,” said Dangerfield. “We are remembering the individuals, as opposed to just the war.”

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Click to play video: 'National Field of Honour'
National Field of Honour

Thursday’s volunteers were part of St. Mary’s Presidents Volunteer Group, a program that gives students an opportunity to give back while completing their degrees.

St. Mary’s president and vice-chancellor Sinda Vanderpool said the time spent in the sunny yet cold conditions helps remind students of the sacrifices paid by the thousands of service members.

“We emphasize educating students not just in mind, but also in heart and body,” said Vanderpool. “We want to train them as they’re going through academic programs, to begin giving back.”

Read more: New generation takes up Field of Crosses preparation ahead of Remembrance Day

Click to play video: 'Field of Crosses founder proud of how Calgarians have embraced project'
Field of Crosses founder proud of how Calgarians have embraced project

The lanterns will burn throughout the night until the morning of Remembrance Day but it’s by no means the final shift for the Field of Crosses’ volunteers.

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On Saturday, crews will begin carefully collecting each individual aspect of the display including the lanterns, flags, poppies and crosses in order to prepare them for next year.

The Field of Crosses’ president Susan Schalin said the annual display would never happen without the dedicated work of volunteers.

“We have a couple 100 volunteers and they come back year after year,” said Schalin. “They just know what to do so we put those experienced volunteers in the lead positions and the new ones fall behind and learn what to do.”

Read more: 2022 No Stone Left Alone ceremony in Edmonton honours Canadian veterans

A televised Remembrance Ceremony is held at the Field of Crosses at 10 a.m., hosted by Global’s Linda Olson and carried live on Global Calgary and the Global TV streaming services.

Click to play video: 'No Stone Left Alone 2022'
No Stone Left Alone 2022

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