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Hillside Cemetery Hosts "No Stone Left Alone" Ceremony

Post Date:11/05/2018 9:30 AM

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat invites the public to attend Hillside Cemetery on Wednesday, November 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to participate in the “No Stone Left Alone” ceremony.

“No Stone Left Alone” honours the sacrifice and service of Canada’s military. It educates youth and students about our past conflicts to create knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Canada’s fallen.

In 1971, a dying mother in Edmonton, who was a veteran, asked her twelve year old daughter to remember her each Armistice Day. Since her mom’s passing, the daughter has rested a poppy on her headstone at the Edmonton cemetery every November 11. At first she went alone, then with her husband and eventually her own daughters. After years of trying to explain to her family why no other veterans had poppies on their headstones, she decided it was time they all did. The number of headstones was overwhelming, so she reached out to the Minister of Veterans Affairs who gave his blessing and encouragement to the idea she had formed. She then contacted the Minister of Education and a young Lieutenant Colonel who said “we can do this”.

In 2011, and every year since, groups of students gather to commemorate the sacrifices of our military by laying wreaths and placing poppies on the headstones of all the veterans who are laid to rest in cemeteries across the country. This event fulfilled Maureen G. Bianchini-Purvis’ mission that every soldier would have a poppy placed in their honour, and that cemeteries resemble Flanders Fields – where poppies grow “row on row”.

This year Medicine Hat is privileged to host this solemn ceremony. Organizers have over 900 confirmed attendees, including 800 students and 160 dignitaries, military personnel, musicians and guests.

Please be advised as part of the ceremony there will be processionals up and down the main roads within the cemetery grounds.

Additionally please watch for buses and vehicles entering and exiting the cemetery grounds onto Highway 3.


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For more information or media inquiries:
Scott Richter
Superintendent of Parks Operation 

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