06/08/2013 03:27 EDT | Updated 06/08/2013 03:33 EDT

Poppy Plaza In Calgary Officially Opens (PHOTOS)

Poppy Plaza, part of a project that honours men and women who served to protect Canada's freedom and security, officially opened in Calgary on Saturday.

The 86,100-square-foot Poppy Plaza is part of a $31.5 million redevelopment plan along Memorial Drive known as the Landscape of Memory, which pays tribute to Calgary’s fallen soldiers.

Veterans and members of the military were present at its official opening, along with Calgarians and Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“Memorial Drive is one of Calgary's most cherished corridors in terms of history, location, proximity to the Bow River, and its relationship with communities,” said Nenshi in a press release.

“Poppy Plaza is a reflection of our gratitude to all those that serve our country and provides a place where we can celebrate the freedoms and peace afforded us by their sacrifice," he added.

The city consulted with representatives from the military and veterans association about the design of the plaza, which won the Canadian Architect Award of Merit as well as The City of Calgary Mayor’s Urban Design Award.

Click through the slideshow below for photos from the official opening.

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