June 2002 Newsletter
I hope this letter finds you all well,
Each month it seems like there's more to tell. With summer vacation just around the corner, the panels have been coming in at a steady pace.(thanks and keep them coming) I can't wait to lay them all out and step back. We have been working hard on plans for Sept. 11th of this year. We have narrowed down where it will be to two locations. Either Long Island NY or The D.C. area. We have had Jean our PR Rep. in the D.C. area very busy, she even wrote to the First Lady asking for support and information. Also one of our first friends of the quilt, Susan of NY is checking on some options. Susan is also of Fabric Traditions(the company that has donated the fabric to trim the quilt). Both of these ladies are always there with a helping hand. We wont know where we will be showing it until all the panels are in. We have to plan for the size. I can't even make an estimated guess at this point. I will let you all know as soon as the tally and info becomes available. As for updates, two papers in MI carried stories on the quilt panel done there. They did a great job! The KBM will be adding a release to their June issue. We have made a big discision here. I received many emails and calls in the past two months about extending our deadline. I received one from a young girl just the other day that wants to have a signing at her school on this Sept. 11th and she wants to do a public signing on Make a Difference Day. Bill and I spent much time talking about this and came to the conclusion that we started this to help children heal, to give us all a sense of helpfulness surrounding one of the greatest tradgities we have ever seen. We can't stop if there is still a desire in someone's heart to help. We have extended this for one more year. All panels received by this years cut off date will be a part of this Sept. 11th showing. After that date they will be added to the quilt for next years showing. Boy you guys keep me busy!
We have added a donation button to the web site. Donations will be used for sending kits to schools that don't have the funds to buy the supplies to do a panel. We are also setting up a showing fund. We are working with a local branch of a national non profit organization that would handle the fund. I'll let you know as it progresses.
Great Mainers - The Portland Maine signing went wonderful. They were very kind and supportive. One of the best parts for me was the chance to meet three great guys and one super lady. These people went to NY the week of the 11th and brought truck loads of supplies. The Applebee family even brought pictures of the ware houses and the city for me to see. They have initiated a panel from AAA and more support. To meet people that did what I wanted to do, that dropped everything and rushed down there. Again I am blessed. They are planning to come to the Sept. 11th 2002 showing. I get to meet the greatest of people! The kindness you all share in uniting for this quilt is enough to amaze the hardest of hearts. I take pride in knowing you all.
A Promise to Protect - As some of you know, I get my four angels to bed and work on the computer. Many nights I spend sending out an invitation to schools, organizations and companies. I received an email this month from a gentleman at a company in Florida. He asked if it would be OK if he did a panel at his college reunion. Neat I thought as I read. Then I discovered his panel will be from West Point US Military Academy class of 77. They lost a classmate on Sept.11th 2001 in WTCII. They will include a memorial for classmate Barry McKeon on their panel. Col. Collier(US Army retired) will be traveling to West Point for his 25 reunion on the weekend before Sept. 11th 2002. These men and women that signed their lifes over to protect our freedom, men that continue to serve us in many aspects have united with us to honor their fellow classmate and their fellow Americans. What great pride I swell with, sharring with you that those that help protect the flag, are a part of this flag.
My big story for the month happened just hours before I write this. I carry a panel with me every were and have even been known to whip it out in stores for people to sign. Today I carried a blank panel. As my family rushed to the memorial day parade, I could hear the fire trucks in a distance. My chest seems to tighten at the sound now. We walked at a hurried pace to a spot right at the end of the parade. Just as the two oldest boys sat to rest, the local fire dept. rounded the corner. They both stood and waved their flags, Chris the oldest(5) has plans to be a policeman and Josh(4) plans to be a fireman. I looked at them, my future, with pride as they waved and smiled. As the Firemen walked by I looked at the shields they wore with pride on their arm. Most I was familiar with. But would you believe a few of the emblems had the twin towers on them? I looked at Bill and he just shook his head(knowing there is just no stopping me). I grabbed my panel and ran for the end of the parade. I walked up to one who was being interviewed by a local reporter. I waited with great patience, which is not a strong point of mine. After a few min. I said excuse me and showed him pictures of some of panels you all have done. I thanked him for the fearless effort and countless hours. He smiled motioned to the pictures and said "thank them". I told him about all the work you all have done. I was shaking and trying so hard not to cry. He was so young, so proud. I gave him the panel and asked for him to become a part of. He said he will hand deliver it in Aug. to me. I only had a moment left and for those of you who know me you wont be surprised, I hugged him, I grabbed him like tomorrow may never come. Then I stepped back and took his picture. I hugged him one more time. I could barely whisper, Thank you, thank you. For that moment I think I heard the news coverage of Sept. 11th over in my head. I turned away and walked back to my family with tears streaming down my cheeks. For Kevin Doherty FDNY, for his many lost friends we unite. For Tamera our friend at the Pentagon and her fallen coworkers, we come together to never forget. For Barry Mckeon and West Point Class of 77, we honor with. For the children, all of our futures, we lead by example.
Thank you all so much for your hard work and kind words. Please let me know if I can help in anyway.
Joy to you all,
Copyright HoAQ 2002©