PHOTOS: Vernon students remember veterans with poppies

Harwood Elementary Grade 7 students Alexus Wolden (from left), Ashley Kotz, Oliver Williamson and Josh Tran watch as classmate Brady Forsyth places a poppy on the grave of William (Walker) MacNeil in Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery during the No Stone Left Alone remembrance ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 4. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Harwood Elementary Grade 7 students Alexus Wolden (from left), Ashley Kotz, Oliver Williamson and Josh Tran watch as classmate Brady Forsyth places a poppy on the grave of William (Walker) MacNeil in Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery during the No Stone Left Alone remembrance ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 4. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
The colour guard from the Royal Canadian Legion and Army Navy and Airforce Veterans stand at ease during the No Stone Left Alone ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)The colour guard from the Royal Canadian Legion and Army Navy and Airforce Veterans stand at ease during the No Stone Left Alone ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon Secondary School Grade 10 student Jada Nassichuk reads in Flanders Fields at the No Stone Left Alone ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Vernon Secondary School Grade 10 student Jada Nassichuk reads in Flanders Fields at the No Stone Left Alone ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Bill Carr from Vernon’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 was the emcee for the No Stone Left Alone remembrance service Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Bill Carr from Vernon’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 was the emcee for the No Stone Left Alone remembrance service Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
W.L. Seaton Secondary School Grade 11 student Jonathan Finlayson plays The Last Post during the No Stone Left Alone remembrance service Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)W.L. Seaton Secondary School Grade 11 student Jonathan Finlayson plays The Last Post during the No Stone Left Alone remembrance service Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon Secondary School Grade 10 student Gaia Fraser reads the Commitment to Remember at the No Stone Left Alone ceremony of remembrance Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Vernon Secondary School Grade 10 student Gaia Fraser reads the Commitment to Remember at the No Stone Left Alone ceremony of remembrance Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Lt.-Col. Larry Gilchrist from Vernon’s Royal Canadian Legion participated in the annual No Stone Left Alone ceremony of remembrance Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Lt.-Col. Larry Gilchrist from Vernon’s Royal Canadian Legion participated in the annual No Stone Left Alone ceremony of remembrance Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

As a slight drizzle and chilly temperatures greeted them at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery Wednesday morning, Nov. 4, Grade 6 and 7 students from Harwood Elementary School were given a brief history lesson.

The students, there for the annual No Stone Left Alone ceremony, were told how Canadian soldiers in both world wars, but especially the First World War, faced similar, if not worse, conditions in fighting the German forces.

“Think of what the soldiers went through, lots of cold and rain, lots of people getting sick,” said Lawrna Myers of the host Vernon and District Family History Society who organizes the No Stone Left Alone ceremony in Vernon.

The aim of No Stone Left Alone is to educate students about Canada’s extensive history of service to country and to remember the fallen by placing the Legion symbol of remembrance – the poppy – at each veteran’s headstone.

This year’s ceremony is being held over two days due to COVID-19 protocols which will see 212 students from Harwood, Mission Hill Elementary and Vernon and W.L. Seaton secondary schools – all in groups of five or six students – placing nearly 1,100 poppies in the local cemetery.

Group leader Ashley Kotz and her fellow Harwood Grade 7 students Alexus Wolden, Oliver Williamson, Josh Tran and Brady Forsyth were given a map of 20 veterans, all of whom either fought in the Second World War or contributed military service, and their burial places.

At each grave, the group would have one person call out the name of the fallen and place a poppy on or near the marker. There would also be a few seconds of reflection.

“It’s very important that we do this to remember those who fought in the war,” said Kotz.

Vernon’s Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 conducted a remembrance service for Grade 10 students from Vernon Secondary School.

MC Bill Carr from the Legion told the students at this time of year a century ago, Canada was bringing back all of the soldiers from Europe in the midst of the Spanish Flu epidemic. Those soldiers, he said, suddenly had to hit the streets to figure out how to retire into civilian life and make a living.

“It’s not very much different from what you’re going through in school right,” said Carr. “You’re thinking about, ‘where am I going in the future,’ and ‘how am I going to contribute.’ But over your life, every year at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, you’ll be gathered somewhere for a Remembrance Day ceremony. It should be important to you now and every more.”

A colour guard made up of members of the Legion and Army Navy and Air Force Veterans were also part of the ceremony.

VSS students Gaia Fraser and Jada Nassichuk contributed readings, Nassichuk reading aloud In Flanders Fields, written in the First World War by Canadian physician Lt.-Col. John McCrae, while Fraser contributed the Commitment to Remember.

W.L. Seaton Grade 11 bugler Jonathan Finlayson played The Last Post.

READ MORE: Vernon students leave no stone alone, no veteran forgotten



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Remembrance DayStudentsWorld War II

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Armstrong’s Jesse Crowe, shown at the home of golf, St. Andrew’s in Scotland, has been named the Royal York Golf Course’s director of golf operations. (Facebook photo)
Armstrong golf pro soars to home course position

Jesse Crowe becomes director of golf operations at Royal York Golf Course

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
Despite additional death, COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional loss in last day

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Two North Okanagan-Shuswap rural communities, including Lumby, will receive B.C. government grants to support new jobs and economic opportunities to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19. (Black Press file photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap communities collect government grants

Lumby and Blind Bay to benefit to help recover from economic impact of COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: The freedom to read

Books have been challenged many times in the past

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. A crack has now been discovered where the old and new portions of the dam meet. (Summerland Review file photo)
Crack at Thirsk Dam to be examined

Reservoir west of Summerland was expanded in 2007

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

The Penticton Speedway has been sold but the investment group who bought it is planning to create an enhanced racetrack and racing experience. (File photo)
Penticton Speedway sold and will remain a racetrack

Investment group that includes founder of Area 27 intends to buy the Speedway

Most Read