No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation organizers fought through snow storms and delays to ensure the veterans laid to rest in Lloydminster Cemetery are remembered.
Amy Hrynchuk, the site representative for No Stone Left Alone, says normally there would be a full ceremony before poppies are laid at veterans graves, but this year it was a quieter event. A smaller group of volunteers were brought in to help out this November and the ceremony was shortened.
“We’ve got a family representing the cadets, Ecole St. Thomas, the Legion and two volunteer families to lay all the poppies, 422 poppies all together.”
“Even though we’re going through a pandemic ourselves in uncertain times, we’re still able to go veterans we’re here and they did this as well. They deserve the respect and to make sure we do remember them.”
She says it’s important to continue the tradition in keeping the memories alive and reflecting on their sacrifice. Hrynchuk adds getting children involved helps them recognize and develop deeper connections with the Canadians that gave up their lives for their country.
“As we go on in the years we’re getting less and less of the World War II veterans to tell their stories. [The children] aren’t just learning from textbooks. They’re getting out there and seeing the names and are able to bring it back into focus.”
Ahead of the event, Hrynchuk had her heart set on one particular gravestone. She says the headstone for George Loyie was a special one for her as no one had ever laid a poppy for him until now.
Loyie laid in an unmarked grave after passing away in 1951. A Last Post Fund researcher traced back his history and found the veteran’s grave in the Lloydminster Cemetery. A headstone was installed in his honour this past summer.
The No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation began in 2011 to honour the lives of veterans.