‘So heartwarming’: students honour veterans at cemetery event

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Tova Anderson was thrilled to see young people come together to honour Winnipeg veterans ahead of Remembrance Day.

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Tova Anderson was thrilled to see young people come together to honour Winnipeg veterans ahead of Remembrance Day.

On Monday, Anderson and her veteran husband attended the No Stone Left Alone ceremony at the Transcona Cemetery with other vets and hundreds of Grade 6 students from the River East Transcona School Division.

“Us older people are always concerned whether the torch will be carried. But when you see the largest turnout… it’s so heartwarming,” said Anderson, whose son is serving in the Canadian Armed Forces.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Tova Anderson adjusts Stephen Andrushko’s hood while fellow WWII veterans Robert Bullen (left) and Peter Frejuk (right) wait for the start of the No Stone Left Alone ceremony.

No Stone Left Alone, a national program launched in 2011, honours Canada’s veterans by educating students about military service. As part of that program, the northeast Winnipeg school division and the Transcona Legion joined forces to bring students to the cemetery to honour those who have served.

On Monday, students placed poppies on the headstones of vets at the cemetery.

“It’s heartwarming to see the students expressing appreciation,” said Peter Martin, Manitoba co-ordinator of the ceremony and veteran. “Putting a poppy on the grave and saying thank you in their mind and the appreciation of salute to the veterans who are here, especially this year, is so important.”

Martin added it’s encouraging to see students take an interest.

“We have talked to them in the classroom about Remembrance Day and they truly care about carrying on and doing this service.”

This is the sixth year River East Transcona has taken part in the program, said Colleen Carswell, board chairwoman.

“I think it means everything in the world, especially to the students who get to come out of their classrooms and stand here in front of a veteran’s grave and to honour that veteran and to remember what they’ve done,” said Carswell.

Tory MLA James Teitsma, who attended the ceremony, said it was a meaningful and powerful event.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The northeast Winnipeg school division and the Transcona Legion joined forces to bring students to the cemetery to honour those who have served in the military.

“For most of these kids, this is the only time they get to participate in a ceremony,” said Teitsma. “I hope it makes a lasting impact on them for years to come.”

The MLA also hopes it reminds students that freedom isn’t free.

“It’s bought at a price, and sometimes a terrible price and they should be grateful for their freedoms,” said Teitsma. “That’s really what you want to foster is that attitude of gratitude.”

fpcity@freepress.mb.ca

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Updated on Monday, November 7, 2022 6:52 PM CST: Adds image

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