W.L. Seaton student Seamus Powell played the bagpipes at the No Stone Left Alone ceremony at Pleasant Valley Cemetary Friday morning. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Vernon students leave no stone alone, no veteran forgotten

More than 100 students honoured veterans at a ceremony at Pleasant Valley Cemetery on Friday

The names of veterans who served their country with their lives can be found throughout the Pleasant Valley Cemetery. On Friday morning Vernon’s youth spoke those names aloud, lest they be forgotten.

More than 100 students from Harwood Elementary, Mission Hill Elementary and W.L. Seaton Secondary attended the fourth annual No Stone Left Alone ceremony in the cemetery.

Guided by volunteers and their teachers, students read the names on the headstones of veterans in the cemetery before placing poppies on each one.

“You are the youth of today that will continue to ensure that these individuals whose names you will say out loud shall live again,” Warrant Officer Peter Jones said to the crowd of school kids, helping to open the ceremony.

A member of the BC Dragoons, Jones is retiring from the force this year after 36 years of service.

Vernon Legion’s Bill Carr lead the remembrance service at the event. Carr honoured those who served in the First World War, which ended 100 years ago last year. But he also asked that the audience think of those who have served in more recent conflicts.

“When we remember, our remembrance is shifting from not just First World War … but into more comprehensive services by Canadians in many, many areas.”

READ MORE: Armstrong resident and World War II veteran nears 100th birthday

READ MORE: Digital poppies set to launch as part of Remembrance Day campaign

For Mission Hill teacher Chad Soon, bringing his students to the ceremony is a way to bridge the gap between today’s young generation and the generations that served when the world needed them most – a gap that grows wider every year.

“It’s so hard every year to see more and more veterans from the big conflicts (WWI and WWII) go, and to try to keep that connection to that past so the kids can understand where our freedoms come from, and also to empathize with the sacrifices those people made,” said Soon.

While all students decorated headstones with poppies, some also played a role in the ceremony. Sophie Joerissen and Sierra Munroe of Harwood Elementary recited John McCrae’s famous poem, In Flanders Fields, in French and English. W.L. Seaton’s Seamus Powell graced the ceremony with his bagpipe playing, and Mission Hill’s Thomas Sanborn read out A Commitment to Remember by Eric de Kroon.

Volunteer members of the Dragoons, the Vernon Legion and the Vernon and District Family History Society were there to assist students as they placed their poppies.

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Just Posted

Man gets 18 months jail for dealing heroin, fentanyl in Vernon

Sung Hwan Choi, 23, found guilty of trafficking drugs from Lower Mainland in May 2019

Open house event to honour Vernon pillar Nahal

City councillor, event organizer and volunteer Dalvir Nahal to be celebrated Sunday

Win free groceries through Vernon store’s fundraiser

Simply Delicious teamed up with CMHA in support of youth programming

Vernon man wanted by police

RCMP ask for public’s help in locating man charged with aggravated assault

Telephone lines down at 18 Avenue in Vernon

Vernon Fire Rescue Services have reopened 18th Ave after clearing the lines from the road

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Violence response procedures updated for B.C. schools, police

ERASE program expands to target gangs, bullying of students

A pawsitive ending: Missing puppy found after nine-day search in Chilliwack

Pit bull Frankie ran from dog sitter booked through app

Letter: Spouse of Shuswap first responder shares challenges, gratitude

One in three first responders suffer in silence, resources available to help them and their families

Kelowna to host 2021 Tim Hortons Brier

The last time Kelowna hosted the tournament was in 1968

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Pawsative Pups: To crate or not to crate

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Teen developed ‘popcorn lung’ due to vaping: Ontario doctors

Boy went from being in perfect health to being on life support after just five months

Most Read