On Saturday, Ottawa Girl Guides placed poppies on the headstones of fallen soldiers at the National Military Cemetery. It was part of a special ceremony marking the start of Veterans’ Week.
No Stone Left Alone is a vision that started 12 years ago to educate the youth and place poppies on all military headstones, including the nearly 11,000 laid to rest in Ottawa.
“They learn not only about the sacrifice of the individual soldier, but they also learn about the sacrifice of the family, the sacrifice of the veterans, and the sacrifice of everyone who knows a Canadian Armed Forces member,” said Nice McCarthy, Ontario Regional Coordinator with No Stone Left Alone.
This is the third year the Girl Guides have participated in the ceremony, laying wreaths, taking a moment of silence, and learning the importance of remembering.
“When you lay down the poppy, it shows that you really respect them in this world and you will never forget them,” said 8-year-old Poppy Stephens.
One-by-one the names were read aloud as a poppy was placed on the graves of fallen soldiers, who fought for the freedom we have today.
“It gives them an opportunity to really be a part of acknowledging the veterans and their families and the sacrifices that they made,” said Kelly Budarick, with the Canadian Armed Forces.
It’s something Stephens knows all too well. Her parents are both members of the Canadian Armed Forces; her dad served in Afghanistan and her name bears the symbol of remembrance.
“I really honour when people wear poppies. It’s very respectful for everybody, including my dad,” she said.
Since No Stone Left Alone began, poppies have been placed on nearly 80,000 headstones in more than 160 communities across Canada and internationally.