No Stone Left Alone at Beechwood, National Military Cemetery
On a sunny and beautiful November 1st 2021, Beechwood Cemetery and No Stone Left Alone held the Annual No Stone Left Alone ceremony and poppy laying event.
The No Stone Left Alone Program’s mission is to honour the sacrifice and service of Canada’s military by educating students and placing poppies on the headstones of veterans every November. No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation is dedicated to honouring and remembering Canada’s veterans. Our ceremony provided students and youth with an authentic experience that creates knowledge, understanding and appreciation of those who serve and of the sacrifice of Canada’s fallen.
This event was co-hosted with students from l'École élémentaire catholique Saint-François-d'Assise and the 76th Communication Regiment and the Ottawa Association of Foreign Defence Attachés. Together, we welcomed our guest of honour, His Excellency Mr. Whit Fraser.
His Excellency shared this message:
Message from Their Excellencies for No Stone Left Alone Remembrance Ceremony
“As we approach Remembrance Day, our thoughts turn to the soldiers who fought for our freedom and values. Who served far from home, in peacekeeping missions and in horrific wars. Who came home, never the same, or never came home at all. We remember their families and loved ones. And we honour the long history and sacrifice of Indigenous peoples in uniform, some of whom would never again see their ancestral land.
Throughout history, members of the Canadian Armed Forces have served on land, sea and in the air. They knew that their contributions made a difference.
We honour their legacies.
For the entirety of our history, from the wars of more than a century ago to the mission in Afghanistan, we have heard of the battles, the displays of bravery and courage. No Stone Left Alone ensures that the stories of soldiers—their names, their families, their history—are not forgotten. We thank the organizers and supporters of this project, and all of the young Canadians who are taking it upon themselves to lead in remembrance. It is our hope that by recalling past sacrifices, we can look to a peaceful future. It is up to you. It is in your hands. It is your duty to keep the memory alive.
Our thoughts are with all veterans and active military members—anyone who has worn a uniform in defence of Canada.
Lest we forget. N’oublions jamais.
Their Excllencies, The Right Honourable Mary May Simon & Whit Grant Fraser”
Following the ceremony and the laying of wreaths, His Excellency Mr. Fraser was asked to lay the first poppy along side the partners. For the next hour, His Excellency, the students, active service members and foreign attachés read every name on the over 6500 headstones, while kneeling and placing a poppy at the base of their headstone to honour their service.
No Stone Left Alone offers a moving moment that connects all of us to the sacrifice of service of the Canadian Armed Forces members, past, present and future. Lest we forget.
Photo credit GG08 series: MCpl Anis Assari, Rideau Hall © OSGG, 2021