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Mount Davidson cross lights up San Francisco for 98th Easter regardless of cancelled dawn service attributable to COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – In memory of the Easter holidays, the more than thirty meters long cross on the mountain. Davidson in San Francisco lights the sky the night before.

The tradition is nearly 100 years old, but the pandemic has forced some changes to the plans.

Things may be different, but the message remains the same.

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At the highest point in the city by the bay, a beacon heralds Easter.

The illumination of the mountain. Davidson Cross, a nearly 100 year old tradition, lives on.

“I think it was always about a positive gathering of people to welcome Easter morning,” said local historian Jacquie Proctor. “It started at 5,000 in 1923, but when that cross was built in the middle of the Depression in 1934 it was 50,000 people.”

There may be fewer people around in 2021, but the Bay Area views around the cross never lose their fame.

Volunteers have visited this iconic peak for 98 years to illuminate the mountainside for one of the Christian religion’s holiest holidays.

The mountain. The Davidson Cross Armenian Council continues today’s tradition with this beautiful display of hope and peace.

“Armenians really have a tradition,” said the mountain. Davidson Cross Armenian Council Chairman Sevag Kevranian said. “32 Armenian organizations have come together to preserve this Mt. Davidson Cross memorial to keep tradition alive in San Francisco, where we have all made this our second home.”

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COVID-19 may not have stopped the lights, but it has forced a change here on Mount Davidson for the second year in a row.

Although the churches are preparing for masses tomorrow, the sunrise service here on Easter morning is canceled.

“As an organizer, he put it so well, he said, ‘with our commitment to love our neighbors, it was a wise decision to cancel the event,'” said Kevranian. “We will continue the tradition, Easter is still in progress, we will continue the sunrise services in the future, but let’s make sure we are all protected.”

The cross is only lit two nights a year, on April 24th, to commemorate the Armenian genocide and tonight, the night before Easter.

In the middle of a pandemic, a sign of hope shines in the night.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.

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