Quilts for Valor ceremony will honor veterans Nov. 2
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Nineteen veterans from World War II and the Korean, Philippines, Vietnam and Gulf wars will be presented with Quilts for Valor on Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. on the Shelby County Courthouse steps in Columbiana.
This presentation is free, open to the public and part of the Friends of the Library Quilt Walk the same day. The mission of the Quilt of Valor Foundation is “to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting Quilts of Valor (QOV).”
Each handmade quilt is a tangible reminder of our nation’s thankfulness for the service and sacrifice of our military. Dedicated volunteers give countless hours to make these quilts. The group was led by Elizabeth Mathews, Alabama QOV representative, who hosts workshops at Magnolia Park Retreat.
“Most of the quilts will pass through three or more volunteers from beginning to end. Yes, some are done by one person. That is the exception, not the rule,” she said. “We work really hard to keep all this organized and documented, from who pieces the top, who we then send it out to actually quilt it, then get it back to get it finished.”
Local residents Agnes Poole, Sarah Atchison and Sheila Gallups have attended workshops and quilted many valor quilts in all stages.
“This is a small way to repay our military and to give back to our community and let them know that they are appreciated,” Atchison said. “I do not keep count of how many quilts I quilt, that is not my goal. I love the cause. I am an emotional person and it is touching for me. I quilt from my heart.”
Gene Quick is a retired colonel in the Air Force and Air National Guard who flew a F-4 jet in Vietnam. He was presented his QOV at a recent ceremony.
“I know I speak for all veterans that it was an honor to serve our country,” Quick said. “We appreciate all the hard work and thoughtfulness of the quilters. The common quilt is a symbol of the closeness of the military and non-military that share the love for our country.”