George Bittman, chairman of the Calgary Poppy Fund, holds part of a cross that will be erected along Memorial Drive. ((CBC))

A $100,000 donation from a Calgary businessman will pay for hundreds of white crosses on Memorial Drive in honour of fallen soldiers through the decades.

Murray McCann got the idea while driving through Georgia last spring when he spotted a field of white crosses in memory of soldiers.

"You can throw money at something. Others threw their lives," said McCann.

The donation is enough to set up 3,000 white plastic crosses along busy Memorial Drive this year, to remind Calgarians of soldiers from the area who have died in battle from the First World War to present day.

So far, the Calgary Poppy Fund has been able to trace 506 soldiers from the Calgary area whose names will be displayed on the crosses.

"I don't believe we have anything that has actually all the names of Calgary's war dead," said George Bittman, chairman of the Calgary Poppy Fund.

Nathan Hornburg's name will be one of the crosses, which will begin to be set up on Sunday.

Cpl. Nathan Hornburg, a 24-year-old reservist from the King's Own Calgary Regiment, was hit and killed by a mortar shell in Afghanistan in 2007.

"Losing a child is the most humbling experience a person can have," said his father, Michael Hornburg. "Every freedom we have in choice as Calgarians, they start with sacrifice of people like my son."

The Memorial Drive display is temporary and will be taken down after Remembrance Day. Organizers plan to set it up every November.