Poppies, the little red symbol, taken from the flowers that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers in Flanders Field, in Belgium, are making a beautiful statement in downtown Calgary, Alberta.
More than 7,000 poppies, the result of hours and hours of work by knitters in Calgary and elsewhere around the world, are now on display inside and outside the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer.
“Something that would also … remind people why this church is here”
The installation was created by a group of the church’s parishioners to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War this Remembrance Day.
“We wanted to do something special to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice, but something that would also … remind people why this church is here — which is to be a beacon of peace and justice for the people of our city,” Leighton Lee. the dean of the church, told Sarah Rieger of CBC News.
It all began with Pippa Fitzgerald-Finch, the parishioner who suggested the installation based on projects like it in England.
“It came together gradually,” she said. “As it became more and more apparent that it was going to look quite spectacular it was a good feeling.”
It took volunteers eight days to tie the poppies to bird meshing for the final result.
“A friend of the congregation who is Muslim made over 100 poppies”
Each poppy took 40 minutes to knit and Fitzgerald-Finch knit 500 of them herself. .
Leighton Lee said it was amazing to see how people responded to the project and contributed over the past eight months.
“It grew really through word of mouth … really people from all walks of life,” Lee said.
“A friend of the congregation who is Muslim made over 100 poppies, so it really has been a very diverse group of people involved.”
“It’s staggering and wonderful to see how people are responding to this,” he said.
“But also of course because we are coming close to Remembrance Day to think of what that day means and what it’s about. It’s very, very heartening to see people responding.”
Remembrance Day, November 11th, ceremonies will take place all over Canada, and the event from the National War Memorial in Ottawa will be televised live.
(With files from CBC)