In Friday's post, I briefly shared information about the Veterans Day program at Monroeville High School. (I thought about trying to get this post ready for posting yesterday, but since I was hosting an early 80th birthday party for my husband, I knew that it wasn't going to happen so I didn't stress out about it. I figured a Sunday post would work too. 😊
Here are the quilts ready for presentation.
While the students were making their way to the assembly, a number of elementary kids were quite intrigued with the quilts and wanted to come up and see them. They had to wait, but I promised them that they would get a close up look after the presentation.
These quilts are a true labor of love for me. Whenever I'm working on one, I think of may Dad, Frank Schwab, a WWII Navy Veteran. Because he died before the QOV project started, Dad did not receive one of these quilts, but every one I make is made in his honor. (Back in 2011, I made 15 Honor Flight Quilts in honor of Mom and Day and you can see pictures of those HERE.) I think of Mom and Dad while I cut and piece all of these quilts together, and I am not ashamed to admit that there are often a few tears shed during the process. I miss them bother very much!
I also work on these to honor my many nieces and nephews who are veterans. I can't thank you enough for your sacrifices and dedication to preserving our freedom. Thank you Lisa, Scott, Sarah, Jeramy, Alex, Brad, Nick M., Paul, Christian, and Nick R.!
This year's recipients included two spouses of staff members and local WWII and Korean War Veterans. To be able to honor the WWII veterans was especially meaningful to me. I know I shared this picture yesterday, but I'm doing so again because I've added names. Plus, I just really like this picture!
I had a wonderful time talking to all these veterans over the past few weeks while gathering information about them and their service, so I could say something about them during the presentation. Every single on of these veterans initially told me that they didn't really deserve a quilt. They each gave a variety of reasons why such as: "I was just doing my job." "There are so many others who did more and they deserve a quilt, not me." "I didn't go overseas, so I don't really deserve one."
I've heard all of this before and I've finally come up with what I think is a pretty good response. I tell them all that, "Yes, you do deserve a quilt. You many not have left the country or fought in any major battles, but you would have done so, if you have been asked to. You left your home and family and made many sacrifices during your service time. You faced unimaginable freezing temperatures or excruciating heat in unfamiliar places. You were away from your family for many holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. You did whatever you were asked to do, and you did it without hesitation or questions. For that, I say that yes, you DO deserve a Quilt of Valor."
Fortunately, my little speech has worked so far and all of the veterans agree to receive a quilt. It also helps that I have a few young ladies helping with the project and presentations. I think it makes the veterans feel good to know that young people are respectful and thankful for their service; and it gives them hope for the future. This is another one of my favorite pictures from the presentation. In the back row on the right side, you can see my helpers.
Thank you Tana S. (Freshman, helping for the first year), Allie S. (Junior, helping for the second year), and Kaleigh S. (Freshman, helping for the first year). We have big plans to continue these presentations over the next few years and I know that these young ladies will do their part BIG TIME!
One of my friends commented to me that she was very happy to see that I've included young people in this ministry. I never really thought of it that way, but I think she's right. This really is a ministry and I'm thrilled that I can include young people. The girls and I are tossing around a plan to have a "sew day" in which other students can join us to help make quilts for next year. I've already been picking patterns that will be pretty easy construction for them and I'm rounding up adult helpers, fabrics, etc. I'm pretty darned psyched about this.
As promised, I have individual pictures of the quilts. Because of crappy weather recently and the fact that I've been gone, I did not get good pictures at home so I took some at the school, before the program.
I had a mission to include at least one piece of the American Honor fabric line from Blank Quilting in each quilt and I am thrilled to say that I was successful. Yay! I made each of these quilts from start to finish with the exception of one (Richard A.'s quilt). I was given a couple of blocks already made and the fabric to make more, so I finished making that quilt and was able to use the tonal blue fabric for the binding. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to use any of the American Honor fabric, but it worked perfectly. Yay!!
And finally, here are the quilts.
Emmanuel H's quilt
Nathan W's quilt
Bill S's quilt
Bob S's quilt
Jim H's quilt
Mary C's quilt
Paul S's quilt
Richard A's quilt
Richard R's quilt
Ervin M's quilt
Mel M's quilt
Since we'll be honoring Vietnam War veterans next year and I think we'll have a pretty large number to make, I better get busy pulling fabrics and making pattern decisions.
Thank you Veterans!
It's an honor to do this for you.