Vernon students remember fallen soldiers at No Stone Left Alone ceremony

It’s a simple gesture — but to hundreds of soldiers and their families all over the world, the placing of a poppy on the headstone of a fallen comrade is a symbol of respect, and more importantly, a reminder to veterans that we will remember them.

That’s the message W.L. Seaton teacher Yvonne Fiala, hopes students will take away from the No Stone Left Alone ceremony held at Pleasant Valley Cemetery on Wednesday morning.

The ceremony, organized by Fiala and Lawrna Myers, of the Vernon and District Family History Society, saw 130 students from three local schools gather to pay their respects to fallen veterans in a brief remembrance service before placing more than 500 poppies on local military grave sites.

In the weeks leading up to the ceremony Fiala, who introduced the concept to Vernon schools last year after participating in a cemetery tour lead by Myers, said she and her colleagues at the participating schools; W.L. Seaton Secondary School, Vernon Secondary School and Beairsto Elementary School assigned Remembrance projects, including research on First World War and Second World War veterans.

“The goal is to get the students reflecting a little bit more as we get closer to Remembrance Day, and to encourage them to learn more about Canada’s rich history of service to their country,” Fiala explained.

“I find they come to realize how much sacrifice was involved with military service, and it makes it a bit more real seeing local names.”

“It gives them the feeling that these men and women are more than just a name on a list their teacher gave them,” Myers echoed.

“Especially if the name they are assigned to research is someone buried right here in Vernon, because then they are given the opportunity to lay a poppy on their gravestone. I think that really helps them connect.”

Through research initiated by the family history society several years ago, Myers said 550 military graves have been identified and marked in the Vernon cemetery. She said there will be many more to mark as the society continues with the project. Wednesday’s ceremony, she noted, was one of dozens hosted by, or on behalf of the No Stones Left Alone Memorial Foundation that took place in communities across Canada on Nov. 1.

The Edmonton-based non-profit organization, founded by Maureen G. Bianchini-Purvis in 2011, aims to honour our fallen military while educating students of the sacrifice made by Canadian veterans, by placing poppies at their headstones every November.

For VSS student Brianne Bertram, the project became something of a personal passion after the Vernon teen learned she shared the same last name as the soldier she was assigned to research.

“He was from Australia, my family is from Scotland, so we aren’t related as far as a I know, but it would be cool if we were,” she noted.

“I still thought the process of learning all this, and then being able actually place a poppy on his headstone was really impactful — to be part of something all these other people are doing for these soldiers who might not have family left to leave poppies for them — it feels like we’re really doing a good thing.”

Erin Christie

Morning Star Staff

erin.christie@vernonmorningstar.com

RELATED: Teacher, students earn provincial honour

Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

 

Grade 10 W.L. Seaton student Abby Battersby lays a poppy on a veteran’s grave as part of the No Stone Left Alone ceremony Wednesday at Pleasant Valley Cemetery. Visit vernonmorningstar.com to see a video of the event. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

A poppy is left on a veteran’s grave as part of the No Stone Left Alone ceremony Wednesday at Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Just Posted

Stevenson pushes Eagles past Vipers

Surrey 2 Vernon 1 in overtime at Bauer Showcase

Birds being fed in Vernon parking lot not a great idea

Vernon wildlife control services owner says feeding ducks and geese, or any wildlife, is bad

BX Falls Trail closed for sedimentation removal

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 25, the RDNO will be closing the lower section of BX Falls Trail.

Vernon fourth in Royal Rumble volleyball

20-team Douglas College volleyball tourney

Retired Vernon broadcaster ‘a common sense’ choice for council

Gord Leighton, a former Prince George councillor, is seeking a seat on Vernon council

Weekday weather update

A look at your Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather for Sept. 24

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Village Gallery welcomes Erin Foggoa

Erin Foggoa’s work is on display throughout September and October

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

New arts council formed in Lake Country

Get to Know Us Extravaganza is Sept. 29

Most Read