On Wednesday, November 9, more than 80 students from three South Park Elementary Grade 6/7 classes visited Boundary Bay Cemetery in Tsawwassen to take part in a moving ceremony to remember and honour veterans laid to rest there.
South Park Elementary teacher, Madame Hélène Hamilton worked with the City of Delta and the Tsawwassen branch of the Royal Canadian Legion to organize the first ever No Stone Left Alone memorial event in Tsawwassen.
“My grandfather was a World War 2 veteran in the Canadian Air Force. My uncles also served in the military, so I am passionate about encouraging respect and gratitude for the service and sacrifice of veterans,” said Madame Hamilton. “I spent 10 years as a paramedic in Calgary before returning to my teaching career and during that time I attended many No Stone Left Alone events. When I started working at South Park Elementary earlier this year, I was keen to see if we could bring this wonderful initiative to South Park students so that they could engage in a personal act of remembrance and hopefully gain a better understanding of the sacrifices made by veterans that give us the peace and freedoms we enjoy today.”
During the ceremony, President of the Royal Canadian Legion Tsawwassen Branch, Ken Harvey delivered the Act of Remembrance. After the Last Post, students observed two minutes’ silence before a wreath was placed at the Cross of Sacrifice. Each student then made their way to an assigned gravestone where they said the veteran’s name aloud and then took a moment of silence to reflect on the veteran’s service and sacrifice. All students had previously painted a poppy on a stone, which they then placed at the Cross of Sacrifice in honour of their assigned veteran.
“It is great to see so many youngsters here today honouring our veterans,” said Ken Harvey. “It is so important for young people to be aware of the sacrifices veterans made and to truly understand the meaning and importance of Remembrance Day so that we can continue to honour our veterans every year, forever.”
Many thanks to South Park educators Hélène Hamilton, Erin McNicholl and Laura Ramsbottom arranging the event for students, to President of the Royal Canadian Legion Tsawwassen Branch, Ken Harvey, to Paul Goumans, Boundary Bay Cemetery and the City of Delta.