Letter from the HoAQ President

Dear friends,

Over the past few years I have worked in a crazy manner at times to help do my part to create the quilt and continue to entice people to see the vision of unity. When I began this project September 13th 2001, I had a small picture in my head with my family's help. A quilt to help heal a city I had never been to, a field and what I believe to be the core of our safety. People were and still are very kind, in teasing I would get called the crazy quilt lady. It only bothers me because to everyone's surprise, this crazy quilt lady knows nothing about quilting. My background is in social services even though my great desire was to be in some form of broadcasting. My hobby and greatest love is my family. That is why the quilt began. For my children, for their children, for the stories that now fill my head told to me by friends and families of those lost.

Those that have helped have given more than a few hours. They have planned, worked, organized and due to the nature of this project, they have delved inside themselves and shared feelings about the things that matter. A few along the way have spent much time with me, countless emails, my hyper ways and my shear desire for healing becoming theirs too. The Directors and Advisors of this Organization are not mere people. They have helped to guide me in ways that it would take hours to explain. Jean, Tamera and Col. Steve came to the quilt in that order. Each very different and each making the quilt stronger. They are all inspirational with faith, hard work, intelligence and a desire for goodness that compels me to be more like each of them. I am proud to know them on a personal level and even prouder that they are directors of this organization. Our Advisors have a uniqueness about them. Each hand picked for they care, concern, knowledge in their field and a passion for the American way of life. None of them, nor myself have ever received a dime of pay for our countless hours. Not in the form of money, but many times over in the form of blessings to our lives. My coworkers are the best our country has to offer.

Along the way I have had many personal lessons. The first being that our country is filled with many wonderful people. The great lesson being that we all want to help each other when the chips are down. Children are the great supporters of true peace. I know this to be fact. They reach out with a love so pure that I relate it to true love. They see with wide eyes and full faith. I remember at a showing in Danbury CT a mother of a young girl asked for my picture with her. The mother told me that I meant so much to this girl. The child, around 9 years old looked up at me and said "this is the greatest day of my life" I slouched down and looked her in the eye " this too is one of the greatest days of my life, I am so excited to meet you". We smiled, both of us proud to know the other and even prouder that the feeling was mutual.

If you ask me my favorite panel I will only begin to tell you about each one. The one from the Pentagon, from the Reston Firehouse, from Washington Metro Airport Authority, from Ground Zero, the first one with my sons first signature.............. I can't pick. They are all one. The Heart of America Quilt is my favorite one. And one day, I will even add my own. So never expect me to give you a direct answer to that question!

I have met many family members, Military personnel, and notable names. They were all human with me, sharing with me what happened on 9/11 and treated me like I was family. Each of them. I have yet to meet that one bad apple. I guess I am very lucky to have traveled the states and met only the greatest our country has to offer.

I hope one day a child that has been part of the Heart of America Quilt will look back on their work and see it as a great part of our history. A time when our country crossed all boarders and boundaries to be ONE for those in need. I hope my own children look back and know that we made a difference that will last in the minds of many as the threads of unity.

God Bless you all,

Susan Morissette, President HoAQ