Esquimalt students lay 2,000 poppies on graves of fallen soldiers


WATCH: Hundreds of students in Esquimalt paid their respect to fallen soldiers on Friday as part of No Stone Left Alone. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

More than 100 students from Rockheights Middle School placed poppies on the headstones of fallen soldiers in Esquimalt on Friday in the lead up to Remembrance Day.

“The people that fought should be remembered,” said Grade 6 student Amadeus Mendel.

Each student stood in front of a grave at God’s Acre Veteran’s Cemetery, reading the name written while honouring their sacrifices as they placed a poppy.

The campaign is part of the No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in Edmonton in 2011.

The goal of the foundation is to lay a poppy on the headstone of every Canadian who has served in the country’s armed forces.

No Stone Left Alone remembrance ceremonies are held each year in more than 50 communities across the country.

“We recognized through the reflections of the students that this was really meaningful and powerful to them,” explained principal Maryanne Trofimuk.

Rockheights was the first school in B.C. to hold this type of remembrance ceremony.

Students laid more than 2,000 paper poppies at the national historic side, each poppy marking a promise to never forget.

“The soldiers who fought and are still alive, they feel very happy that people appreciate what they’ve done for our country,” said grade seven student Marlee Reid.

“I appreciate that all these people fought for us to keep us safe but it’s sad that they died,” explained Grade 7 student Carleni Javier.

The annual ceremony is a touching tribute for local veterans like Bill Emery.

“It’s important for everyone to remember the big sacrifice that was made especially in WWI & WWII,” said Emery who is a member of the Esquimalt Lions Club.  “Our last peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan we unfortunately lost a number of troops as well.”

God’s Acre Cemetary has been a resting place for those who served since 1868.

Currently, more than 2,500 military personnel and their families are buried at the national historic site.

To learn more about No Stone Left Alone, visit the website.



Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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