By SHAUNA MCGINN
November 11 is a very important day of reverence for people across Canada and around the world. Each year, there are a number of events in Calgary held specifically to honour those who lost their lives fighting for the freedoms we enjoy today. If you’re looking for a way to remember our fallen soldiers and give thanks, we’ve put together a list of options for where to pay your respects on Remembrance Day.
Remembrance Day installation at Cathedral Church of the Redeemer
This beautiful Church in downtown Calgary is honouring the fallen with a display of thousands of handmade crocheted poppies. It’s been up for over a week now and makes for a peaceful place to gather and remember.
604 1 St SE, www.anglicancathedralcalgary.ca
Field of Crosses
Over 3400 crosses line Memorial Drive, row on row, from November 1-11 each year, each memorializing the name and regiment of a Southern Alberta soldier who paid the ultimate price for our freedom in the line of duty. Each day that the crosses stand guard on the hill, a sunrise and sunset ceremony, complete with bugling and speeches, is conducted to accompany the raising and lowering of the flags. The ceremonies culminate in a Remembrance Day memorial service at 10:30 am on November 11. The general public is invited to attend any of the free ceremonies, or come walk among the crosses at their leisure whenever they can over their 11 days on duty.
Sunnyside Bank Park, 200 Memorial Drive NW, www.fieldofcrosses.com
The Hangar Flight Museum
Every year the Hangar Flight Museum holds an outdoor ceremony for Remembrance Day. Arrive by 10:15 am; ceremony starts at 10:30 am. This year, the museum will also mark the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid and the 60th anniversary of NORAD. The museum is accepting donations to the Veterans Food Bank. Stay afterwards to tour the exhibits at the museum, where admission will be by donation.
4629 McCall Way NE, www.thehangarmuseum.ca
The Military Museums
After a traditional memorial service at 10:30 am, The Military Museums will be open to the public free of admission, with many veterans in attendance to share their stories. Non-perishable food item donations are encouraged. Keep in mind that there will be limited parking available on site in the field to the east of the Parade Square. You can also park at the Flames Community Arena.
4520 Crowchild Trail SW, 403-410-2340, www.themilitarymuseums.ca
Central Memorial Park
Pay your respects as the Calgary Highlanders infantry regiment march along 4th St SW. A free memorial ceremony is to follow, held at the Cenotaph in the heart of the park. The Highlanders can be found at many ceremonies across the city, committed to honouring those communities who contributed men to the Tenth Battalion and the Highlanders in times of war.
1221 2 St. SW, www.calgaryhighlanders.com
Batallion Park Ceremony
Speeches, a public address, wreath laying ceremony and performances of traditional songs and poetry are among the agenda of this memorial. The King’s Own Calgary Regiment are slated to march beginning at 10:30 am. Event is free and open to the public, and if able, participants are encouraged to walk to the site.
3001 Signal Hill Dr. SW, www.kingsown.ca
Remembrance Day Cemetery Tour Banff
If you’re headed to the mountains this weekend, a tour of the Old Banff Cemetery is in order. Hear stories of hardship and heroism from veterans on hand, and learn the history of Banff as you never have before—during the World War era.
102 Wolverine St, Banff, 403-762-1200, www.banff.ca
There will be an indoor ceremony held at Fort Calgary starting at 10:30 am; arrive early to ensure seating. Afterwards there is a holiday artisan’s fair, and entrance is free with a non-perishable donation to the Veterans Food Bank.
750 9 Ave SE, 403-290-1875, www.fortcalgary.com
Political, military, veteran, civic and community leaders will lay wreaths in honour of our fallen soldiers outside the auditorium beginning at 9:30 am, with a march to follow and moment of silence at 11:11 am. Anyone wishing to lay a wreath on behalf of a family member, friend or loved one is encouraged and welcome. Weather permitting, for the latest updates visit the Jubilee Auditorium online.
1415 14 Ave NW, 403-297-8000, www.jubileeauditorium.com
Visit your local Legion
Remember to head down to your local legion after paying your respects, as this is where many veterans will gather after mid-day memorials to share stories, laughter, tears, and a few beers—and the company of those they fought so hard to protect is always welcomed and appreciated. Browse here to locate the Royal Canadian Legion nearest you.