Pictured here is a scene from Stettler IODE’s first annual No Stone Left Alone Ceremony at the Lake View Cemetery. (Stettler Independent/File photo)

Pictured here is a scene from Stettler IODE’s first annual No Stone Left Alone Ceremony at the Lake View Cemetery. (Stettler Independent/File photo)

A meaningful local tradition continues in Stettler with the ‘No Stone Left Alone’ ceremony at Lake View Cemetery

“It’s so important that nobody forgets.”

A meaningful local tradition continues in Stettler with the ‘No Stone Left Alone’ ceremony at Lake View Cemetery.

This year’s event, which focuses on the setting up of crosses with poppies on the graves of veterans, is set to run Nov. 9th at 2 p.m.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, this year’s service will be scaled back, explained Peggy Duncan, an IODE member who first spearheaded the project back in 2017.

For those that do attend, social distancing rules will be in place.

RCMP members, some local veterans and some bagpipers will be present, however. There will be a wreath-laying as well, and a couple of high school students will be onhand to do some photography, she added.

Meanwhile, as mentioned, the concept for bringing about the No Stone Left Alone initiative to Stettler was sparked about three years ago.

“How I got started with this is that I saw it on TV in Calgary,” she said. Organizers were putting up crosses for Remembrance Day at a spot along Calgary’s Memorial Drive.

“My granddaughter was sitting there with me, and she said, ‘Grandma, how come they don’t do this in Stettler?’ And I said, I have no idea.

“So then I thought I would do some investigating and that’s how I got started.

“We started off with 25 crosses, and we now have 168 – all for veterans,” she said.

Support from the local high school has also always been superb, she added. In past years, they’ve had about 40 students help out with No Stone Left Alone.

Moving forward, the local Rotary Club is going to be taking over the initiative, said Duncan, adding that the involvement of local high school students in the project has also been of utmost importance over the years.

“The main thing was to let the kids know that if it wasn’t for these soldiers that are buried there, they wouldn’t be able to have the freedom that they do,” she explained.

“I also want them to keep this alive. They fought in the war for us.

“It’s so important that nobody forgets.”

In the meantime, things have been set in place out at the cemetery already, said Duncan. “We went out and put up the poppies on all the crosses so it’s done,” she explained.

These days, there are 72 schools in Alberta that are part of the initiative, which also involves some 80 cemeteries.

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