One by one, students placed a poppy on each headstone that lies in the National Field of Honour in Pointe-Claire.
A sentimental tradition that started in 2011 in Edmonton, No Stone Left Alone was created to honour Canadians who have served in the country’s armed forces.
“For them, the Armistice was 100 years ago for World War I and 65 years ago for Korea,” said Rocco Sperenza, from the English Montreal School Board. “For students that are 14, 15, it’s hard to make the connection. By doing projects like this and coming and seeing, it makes them connect to the past.”
Over the last few weeks, students made around 17,000 poppies to lay for Remembrance Day.
They spent Monday morning making sure no stone was left without one.
“We’re here to show respect for how much they’ve done for us, how much they’ve sacrificed for us, and just to show them how much we appreciate everything they’ve done,” said Jessie Ghougassian, Secondary 1 student at Vincent Massey Collegiate.
Students then participated in a ceremony — also attended by soldiers, legion members and veterans — where they read poems and had a minute of silence to remember those who passed.
“It’s very important to keep their memory alive because they were here, they helped us, they did a lot of stuff for us and we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” said Vincent Massey Collegiate student and cadet, Jonathan Boruta.
For retired Brig.-Gen. Gaston Côté, it’s important that the younger generation not only remember those who passed, but also show appreciation for those serving in the military today.
“We have to understand the efforts that go behind all of those missions now and the sacrifices also,” he said.