Around 450 students from Margaret Jenkins Elementary School walked to a pipe-band in Fairfield Monday, on their way to a nearby cemetery.

It was all for an important lesson as remembrance day approaches.

“Our school joined the No Stone Left Alone Foundation and went out to Ross Bay cemetery to place poppies directly on the gravestones,” said Janet Langston, vice-principal of the school

“It’s to acknowledge the veterans, remember and think about the service they did.”

Residents were surprised by the sight.

“I heard the bagpipes and I thought it was a government house thing and I got closer up and I saw the Scots Guard and all the kids and I thought ‘wow this is great’,” said Adrian Harrison.

Around 8,000 students across the country will be participating in the event this week. As they laid a wreath and sang, before heading to the graves.

The hands-on experience is something teachers say is critical.

“Genuine authentic learning, that’s is how children remember, how they connect and commit… they don’t always remember a picture,” said Langston.

The impact it made was clear.

“It felt kind of nerve-wracking that people that died in gunfights were buried there,” said Elijah Crossley, who is in Grade 5.

“It’s important so we remember it so we don’t do it again,” said Grade 5 Hannah Smallwood.

“They played an important role in our history so we need to remember them because they protected Canada,” said grade 5 Neko Young.

“People fought for us in the war so we don’t have this war again,” said grade 4 Ruby Greer.

Brigadier general Dave Awalt, whose wife works at the school, agrees it’s a vital lesson.

“For children, it is probably opening their eyes a bit to something they may not truly fully understand,” said Awalt.

“But hopefully it will enable them to think about it, and research it in future classes and see where we come from.”

The school hopes to continue the event again next year.

Julian Kolsut