Students lay poppies in honour of Edmonton's fallen

Thousands of military graves line Edmonton’s cemeteries and each one will be pinned with a poppy this Remembrance Day, as local children honour Canada’s fallen.

No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation holds ceremonies across the country

Edmonton students lay poppies on soldiers' graves in No Stone Left Alone ceremony 1:17

Thousands of military graves in Edmonton cemeteries will be decorated with poppies this Remembrance Day, as local children honour Canada's fallen.

A poppy lies on the grave of Sergeant Sydney Hancock during the commemoration event 'No Stone Left Alone' at Beechmount Cemetery in Edmonton on Nov. 6, 2014. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)
Hundreds of students will take part in ceremonies organized by the No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation.

Students, largely from local junior high schools, will mark the headstones, take a moment to reflect, and thank soldiers by name, aloud.

"It's really quite a profound moment for a lot of them,"  said NSLA president Randall Purvis, who believes the ceremonies are a powerful way to engage a generation that has been largely sheltered from the tragedy of war.

"Sometimes it's fear, and for some of them, if they're lucky, they've never been to a cemetery before. So it's very emotional."

Purvis and his wife, Maureen, founded the organization after their daughter asked why so many military headstones were left barren on Nov. 11.

It all started five years ago in Beechmount Cemetery on 104th Street.

Maureen Purvis, the daughter of two Second World War veterans, promised her dying mother more than 30 years ago that she would not be forgotten on Remembrance Day.

Every November, she visited her mother's grave, laying a poppy in remembrance. The family was continuing the tradition for yet another year, when their daughter noticed that many veterans' headstones sat neglected.

Now, the organization works with the military, volunteer committees, students and Alberta educators, and has grown into a national movement.  

This year, the NSLA will place 23,000 poppies in seven provinces across the country.

The Beechmount Remembrance Ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m.on Tuesday.

You can learn more about No Stone Left Alone, and ceremonies in other locations here.