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'They did all of it for us': College students collect at cemetery to recollect in No Stone Left Alone ceremony

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Below a billowing Canadian flag, busloads of children disembarked into the previous on the Beechmount Cemetery as a part of the No Stone Left Alone undertaking, stepping as much as the neat rows of veterans’ headstones to put their single poppies.

Half of a bigger motion of 13,000 college students from throughout Canada and past, the scholars stood solemnly in entrance of the gray stones, absorbing the transient data on every: Title. Rank. Date.

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Alberta Lt. Gov. Salma Lakhani informed the scholars Canada’s fallen heroes made large sacrifices so life can be higher than it might have been in any other case.

“Take into consideration the way you and different younger individuals such as you get pleasure from many, many treasured items, because of our ladies and men in uniform. These are items we should always by no means, ever take with no consideration, and we should always at all times be grateful,” she stated.

“You younger individuals are free to query, to discover concepts, to specific your self and to decide on what you consider in. You might be free to be taught and to create the type of future you think about for your self, no matter your tradition, gender, ethnicity or faith. You might be free to dwell in peace.”

She urged these gathered to pay tribute by ensuring colleges and neighbourhoods are locations of peace.

And for these grieving a fallen hero?

“Could you discover consolation in realizing that their proud legacies will proceed to dwell on by means of great packages like this one,” she stated.

Sixth grader Reyona Prasanna from Annunciation College took all of it in.

“They did all of it for us,” she stated. “They helped us all within the wars.”

The color guard had been all veterans of Canada’s Armed Forces. Some sported blue berets denoting service in UN peacekeeping missions everywhere in the world, a practice marking 75 years this 12 months.

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Premier Danielle Smith stated Canada’s a free and democratic nation, because of the women and men who answered the decision to “stand on guard.”

“It’s a privilege to collect and bear in mind the veterans who’re laid to relaxation in Beechmount Cemetery in Edmonton,” she stated.

Whereas not all of them had been younger or at warfare after they died, all of them had been somebody’s daughter or son, sister or brother, good friend, guardian or grandparent, she stated.

“Each considered one of them had a life and a narrative,” Smith stated, citing the braveness, selflessness and typically the final word sacrifice represented by the stones.

“Putting the poppy on the gravestone is an easy act with large which means,” she stated.

Brigadier Gen. Steve Graham leads 12,000 troops in Western Canada and Northern Canada within the third Canadian Division.

“How will we bear in mind the over 120,000 Canadians who died making an attempt to guard our nation over the past 124 years?” he requested

“They sacrificed their very own hopes, their very own goals, their futures, for us,” he stated.

He inspired the scholars and different individuals to learn the gravestone, the identify, the age, the date they died.

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“Consider the person behind that gravestone, take into consideration the battle they died in — South Africa, First World Struggle, Second World Struggle, Korea, Afghanistan … and as of this 12 months, 75 years of UN peacekeeping missions,” he stated.

“Take into consideration hundreds of presently serving Canadian troopers deployed proper now world wide. They’re persevering with that custom of placing themselves in hurt’s method to make sure our lifestyle,” Graham stated.

“If every of you do that, if every of you seizes the chance, we are able to collectively bear in mind the fallen. Don’t let their sacrifices be forgotten. Let’s make make certain that the names and faces and tales are handed on and turn into a part of our nationwide historical past,” he stated.

Graham informed Postmedia he misplaced three troopers who served beneath him in Afghanistan in 2007 — an expertise that was “horrible,” he stated, recalling having to name mother and father and wives to inform them about their fallen hero.

“After I’m standing there throughout these two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day, I consider these three, and I consider my uncle, who was killed in Italy within the Second World Struggle,” he stated.

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Renee Chevalier-Lavin is a Grade 5 trainer at Annunciation Catholic College. Prayers within the lecture rooms there typically embrace prayers for areas in battle world wide, she stated.

This will likely be her second Remembrance Day with out her father, who was a veteran of 35 years within the army and on UN peacekeeping missions in Cyprus.

“Remembrance Day was so essential to him. It’s at all times been essential that I be part of it,” she stated.

“I simply know the way honoured he can be to have all these college students take part in it,” she stated.

For college students who immigrated to Canada from wartorn areas, Remembrance Day strikes a chord, Chevalier-Lavin stated.

“I believe lots of our children perceive that. Many got here from wartorn international locations … I believe the importance of it is going to sink in for now,” she stated.

“We do have children from the Ukraine, so we all know they’ve skilled it.”

Kateryna Pietrova, a sixth grader, got here to Edmonton from wartorn Jap Europe.

“It was very dangerous,” she recalled. “I’m very grateful for the veterans, and that I might come to Canada with my entire household. I need to be Canadian.”

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