POINTE-CLAIRE – At seven-years-old, Mia Brady knows little about Canadian wartime history, but she understands it’s important.
She also knows about that famous poem about poppies that symbolizes fallen soldiers.
“It was John McCrae, he sat in a beautiful garden full of poppies and he wrote a poem about poppies,” Mia told Global News.
“And that is why poppies are the flowers of the day of the death.”
Mia and her Grade Two classmates from Baie D’Urfe’s Joseph-Henrico Elementary are learning at a young age about the impact of war.
Before the Remembrance Day service began at Pointe-Claire’s National Field of Honour, Mia’s class planted paper poppies on gravestones.
It was part of a Canada-wide initiative called No Stone Left Alone that started in Alberta, ensuring every veteran grave has a flower on Nov. 11.
It came to Quebec for the first time this year.
School children gather to pay their respects to Canada’s soldiers, Tuesday, November 11, 2015. Martin Hazel/Global News
School children gather to pay their respects to Canada’s soldiers, Tuesday, November 11, 2015.
Martin Hazel/Global News
Presumed-dead navy veteran reflects on Remembrance Day
How you can explore historic battlefields online this Remembrance Day
Your stories: Why people of all kinds gathered at the War Memorial in Ottawa for Remembrance Day
“I am pretty sure they will remember that for a long time,” said Diane Tardiff, a senior program officer at Veteran’s Affairs.
“This is the event we want to do for a long time so the kids will remember.”
Getting young people involved was an important aspect of the Pointe-Claire service.
Veterans said it’s critical for kids like Sammy Cote learn about the past.
“When people fought for our lives to try to save us, I really like that,” said Cote, also a student at Joseph Henrico.
Hundreds of people came out for the 30 minute ceremony, organized by the Last Post Fund.
The non-profit group ensures every Canadian solider has a proper burial, even if they don’t have the money to pay for it.
“It’s very important because these people have put their lives in jeopardy,” said Pierre Boucher, Last Post Fund Quebec Chairman Brigadier General.
“Some of them died, so, at this moment we must make sure that these people, that Canada will take care of them.”
Taking care of them also means remembering their contribution.
At 11:11 a.m., the crowd fell into an almost eerie silence of reflection and respect.
The service touched veterans like retired Honorary Colonel Ted Slaney deeply.
He’s 92-years-old, served in World War Two and the Korean War; this day makes him proud to be Canadian.
“I start thinking of different people and I make it a case to sit down and reminisce on my own a lot,” said Slaney.
Veterans said the importance of the service to them can’t be underscored enough.
They want people to remember, because war is something they will never forget.