The annual Field of Crosses opened in Kelowna’s City Park by the Cenotaph on Wednesday (Nov. 2) as Remembrance Day celebrations start to take place around the city.
A ceremony opened up the Field of Crosses this year, with some families of those who have people with crosses in the field. All the crosses honour 227 young Canadians with their name, rank, regiment, and date of death inscribed on the cross.
Michael Loewen ran the ceremony while Anna Jacyszyn sung both the national anthem and ‘God Save the King’. A moment of silence also took place.
“The Field of Crosses exhibit is a special tribute to all those from the Kelowna area who lost their lives in the service of their country,” said Loewen.
This year is the 77th anniversary of the ending of World War II and the 101st anniversary since the poppy was made a symbol of remembrance.
A group of kids who participated and won the National Poppy campaign contest by the Royal Canadian Legion were also honoured at the ceremony. The group represented the local, regional, provincial, and national winners, who had different types of entries including poems, essays, and more.
Kelowna Legion 26 President Darlene McCaffery and the group of four kids laid a cross for an unknown soldier during the ceremony.
Outgoing Mayor Colin Basran was in attendance as well as outgoing councillor Gail Given and Kelowna-Lake Country MP Tracy Gray.
The Field of Crosses, which is put on by the Rotary Club of Kelowna, is going to be open for 10 days from Nov. 2-12 and during that time, many schools are planning to take field trips to the exhibit as part of their Remembrance Day learning. On Wednesday morning, the grade nine class from Constable Neil Bruce Middle School in West Kelowna examined the Field of Crosses.
During the 10 days, the visual memorial is open 24 hours a day in City Park, just a few steps from the Cenotaph. On Nov. 10, a candlelight ceremony will be taking place at the Field of Crosses.
The regular Remembrance Day ceremony will take place City Park Cenotaph at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11.