Randall Purvis and his wife, Maureen Bianchini-Purvis, from the organization No Stone Left Alone, could not be happier of the overwhelming support they have received from the military community and the general public going from 4,000 poppies laid on fallen soldiers’ grave six years ago to some 44,000 this year.
“The initiative keeps growing, and we are amazed by how big it has gotten, helping the younger generation to concretely connect with a reality they once ignored. There is a definite educational component to this initiative, and the overwhelming collaboration of school and students across the country is heartwarming,” explained Randall Purvis on Sunday.
The Purvis met in their teenage years, some 40 years ago, and made it a duty to lay poppies on Mrs. Purvis’ parents’ grave every Remembrance Day. They would later bring along their own children, one of their daughters once asking why it was that not each soldier would get poppies on their grave on this occasion.
The organization, based in Edmonton, started its movement in 2011. Every November, from the 1st of the month to the 11th, they organize ceremonies in military cemeteries across the country to recognize the soldiers who have sacrificed in the name of our freedom. They also publish reflection letters on their website, some of which are deeply humbling.
“We have a chance, a genuine opportunity, and a simple platform that allows us to educate, force people to stop and reflect, if only for an hour, on the sacrifices these soldiers and families have made in our name. We could not be happier to see awareness grow in this regard,” adds Purvis.
No Stone Left Alone will hold its largest ceremony of all Monday morning, in Edmonton, with live broadcast starting at 10:30 am, on Global News. The ceremony will involve some 900 students, 160 soldiers, teachers as well as honourable guests. It will include not only speeches but also prayers, choir singing, a walk down the cemetery with soldiers and students, thank yous and salutes to the fallen, but also a flyby by the snowbirds, leaving red streaks in the Edmonton sky, around 11:05 am.
The ceremony will be available in its full length on the organization’s website later in the day as is the schedule of all special events to occur this week, across the country. Counting more than 8,000 volunteers and only one paid employee, No Stone Left Alone is always welcoming of new faces and talents to help spread the word on remembering our deceases military members.
For more information on this Remembrance Day ceremonies and No Stone Left Alone, please visit their website.