There are over 216,000 identified veteran burials in cemeteries across Canada. It’s our goal to one day honour every one of those veterans with a poppy laid by a Canadian student. To do that, we need your help.
Whether your site houses a formal veterans section or not, there are most likely veterans interred in your cemetery. A NSLA commemoration is the perfect way to honour and acknowledge those men and women, and to engage young Canadians in a meaningful event in your space.
What is No Stone Left Alone?
At No Stone Left Alone, we believe the key to ongoing remembrance is in building meaningful links between Canadian youth and the immense contributions of our veterans and serving military.
We work with teachers, youth and volunteers to create hands on inter-generational remembrance events in cemeteries across Canada every November. Through our educational programs, students are encouraged to learn about the veterans interred in their community. Then, during our unique ceremonies, these students place a poppy at the headstone of each veteran, reading aloud the names and considering their service and sacrifice. After the event students draft handwritten reflection letters, expressing the personal connection they have experienced and how it has affected them.
“The aim of No Stone Left Alone is near and dear to the hearts of the regiment, and I do not believe that its contribution to the military can be overstated. In times of isolation, it provides a valuable bridge between the soldiers and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, and the people we serve, most notably the next generation of Canadians.”
— Lieutenant-Colonel E.D. Angell, CD, Former CO, Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians)
How It Works
The requirements to host a No Stone Left Alone event at your cemetery are minimal. The primary requirement is that you have identified at least one veteran interred at your site, and that you make the site available to the students and any other attendees to hold a remembrance ceremony.
- Beyond this, many cemeteries participate more actively through:
- holding a “hot chocolate reception” for the students and attendees after the ceremony
- assisting students and organizers with locating and pre-marking the veteran headstones
- providing additional information about the veterans interred in the cemetery
- engaging other ceremony participants such as clergy or musicians with whom you may already have a relationship
Typically, cemeteries are matched up with local schools or youth groups by No Stone Left Alone coordinators. But cemetery contacts are also welcome to reach out to their own communities to recruit schools and other groups on their own, if they would like to take a more active role in organizing the event. Once you register your cemetery to be available for a NSLA event, our team will reach out to discuss next steps.
The Benefits of Hosting a No Stone Left Alone Event
- Showcase your cemetery
- Showcase your site’s ability to host an event
- Encourage people to discover their local cemetery
- Build stronger connection to the community and its youth
- Share local history
- Help demystify the industry
- Build new memories in local cemeteries
- Establish your site as a yearly place of commemoration