No Stone Left Alone is once again being held in Wetaskiwin to honour and remember the veterans laid to rest in the city’s two cemeteries.
No Stone Left Alone is a memorial organization out of Edmonton focused on commemorating veterans, as well as working with schools to engage and educate students about the sacrifices made by past and present veterans.
Stacey Coughlan, who is co-organizing the event with her daughter Alyssa, says because the ceremony is held on a weekend — Nov. 5 at 10:30 a.m. — the event gets no direct involvement from the city’s schools. But that is not hindering youth involvement.
“This year we’ve got at least 90 kids confirmed,” said Coughlan.
In an interview with the Pipestone Flyer Coughlan listed just a few of the youth groups taking part, including 4-H clubs, Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, and volleyball teams. She also mentioned the Wetaskiwin Sabres, depending on the team’s game schedule.
“Last year it was just families getting involved. It’s really good now the community is getting on board with it,” said Coughlan.
Coughlan adds the Wetaskiwin Royal Canadian Legion Branch 86 is also a great supporter of No Stone Left Alone. “They were kind enough this year to give us all the poppies we need through their poppy fund. We work together with the Legion on this.”
The Wetaskiwin Legion also lays a wreath during the ceremony.
When Coughlan and her family first heard about the No Stone Left Alone initiative they felt it was a nice gesture for those who had served and sacrificed.
But the family’s connection to soldiers is a little greater than some others, as Coughlan’s husband served in the British military.
“We know another family here who’s son is in the military,” said Coughlan.
“I just don’t think people understand enough about what soldiers give,” she added, mentioning PTSD as one of the possible lifelong effects of war. “It’s not just the sacrifice of losing your life. Some people sacrifice for their entire lives and I think our kids need to understand that.”
Coughlan feels Remembrance Day in schools presents kids with an idea of what the soldiers mean to Canada but being able to visit their graves and lay down a poppy will hopefully reach them in another way.
This year No Stone Left Alone Wetaskiwin was approached to include those buried in the cemetery along Airport Road. However, Coughlan and her daughter will need to search the city’s archives to get the names and it was too close to the ceremony date to get the work done this year. She says for next year No Stone Left Alone would like to expand into that cemetery as well.
Due to the construction taking place in Jubilee Park the ceremony will take place in the Wetaskiwin Memorial Cemetery, near the hospital.