When members of the Maple Grove Yarmouth High Memorial Club learned there were six soldiers buried at Yarmouth Mountain Cemetery without markers, they set out to change the situation.
Joe Bishara, who has been club advisor for decades, says members approached several businesses for quotes on the markers but when Heritage Memorials in Yarmouth heard about their project, a spokesperson said the company would donate them all.
“They love what these kids do,” said Bishara.
The youth volunteers visit Veteran's Place (a veterans' residence), organize Remembrance Day services and carry out activities at their schools and even in many communities outside of Yarmouth.
Members have made trips to Camp Hill Veterans Hospital in Halifax and in the past Bishara organized a trip for 210 Club members to visit Ottawa veterans in long-term care institutions and hospitals.
When it came to inscribing details of the six veterans on the markers, the name, birth and death dates of each person was provided, although the history of where some of the soldiers served was unknown.
Several Memorial Club members shared their thoughts on the importance of providing memorial stones for the unmarked graves.
Zoë Harrington said it is very important to finally give respect to the veterans, seeing as how they had served our country.
“Even if it is just something so simple as a headstone,” she said.
Kira Hattie’s great-grandfather, John Hattie, was killed in Italy during World War Two. He has a headstone there and one in Our Lady of Calvary cemetery and therefore she felt a connection in ensuring that the graves in this cemetery were marked.
“I find it important because our family was in the war and he fought. Just the fact that as a club we are able to give the family members a headstone to commemorate their family member is quite important,” she said.
Danyon Nickerson believes the veterans have earned the respect that the markers signify.
“Because of them, we are able live in Canada today and keep it as it is, a peaceful country.”
A ceremony unveiling the six markers will take place at Yarmouth Mountain Cemetery on Sunday, July 16 at 2 p.m. The public is invited to attend.