No Stone Left Alone: Honouring Canada's Veterans
No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation is dedicated to honouring and remembering Canada’s veterans. Our unique ceremony provides students and youth with an authentic experience that creates knowledge, understanding and appreciation of those who serve and of the sacrifice of Canada’s fallen.
In 1971, a child of twelve was having a discussion with her mother who was very ill and near death. Her mother, who was a veteran, stroked the child’s head and asked her not to cry and to try not to forget her on Armistice Day. Through her tears, she looked into her mother’s eyes and nodded, not even understanding what was meant by the word Armistice.
Never missing a year since the passing of her mother, she has gone to the cemetery site to lay a poppy on Remembrance Day, first alone, then with her husband and finally, as soon as they could walk, her two daughters. They would pause at the cenotaph and look out at all the headstones that lay in the Field of Honour in Beechmount Cemetery in Edmonton. Her two little girls would ask, “Why don’t the others receive a poppy?”
For years, she provided possible reasons until they grew up and declared, “Mom, I think we should make sure they all get one.” Knowing time was fleeting she decided to try to do that. She started with the help of a few friends, but the number of headstones was overwhelming. She wrote a letter to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, who gave his blessing and encouraged her to begin. Next, she contacted the Minister of Education and then she met a young Lieutenant-Colonel who said, “We can do this.”
No Stone Left Alone was launched in 2011 by Mrs. Maureen G. Bianchini-Purvis in recognition of the sacrifice of the Canadian men and women who have lost their lives in the service of peace, at home and abroad. It became her mission to see that one day all of the soldiers' headstones would have a poppy placed in their honour and the cemetery would resemble the idea of Flanders Fields where the poppies grow "row on row."
This webinar will feature Nick McCarthy, Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa and Regional Coordinator of the No Stone Left Alone Foundation
Nick has a decade of strategic communications experience working in private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining Beechwood, Nick was employed as the Director of Communication with the Association of Justice Counsel. Nick began his career in various federal government departments and agencies and then moved to the Not-For-Profit sector. Being an Ottawa native, Nick studied at the University of Ottawa, receiving his Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and French Literature.
Nick is married to Carolyn and is the proud but busy father of two daughters, Imogen and Quinn. When not spending time with his family, Nick enjoys reading books about world history and politics.
Nick is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Tulip Festival and Ontario Regional Coordinator for No Stone Left Alone.
The 2021 webinar series is brought to you by the following sponsors: