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Quilter’s Memorial Project Displayed for 15th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

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Photo Credit: Vivian Sade

Story originally published by The Journal Gazette.

The devastating day of September 11, 2001, rang in the hearts of Americans all over the country. One of those people was Amy Sue Leasure, a 911 dispatcher from Prescott, Arizona, who immediately knew she wanted to do something to honor the victims and emergency workers involved in the terrorist attacks. Amy contacted her mother, Cecelia Caston and pitched an idea to launch a project that creates memorial quilts.

Amy launched a website that requested volunteers to sew and donate 12-1/2-inch red, white and blue quilt squares in a star pattern. After a few weeks, Amy had received 20,000 quilt squares from all over the world, requiring a pickup truck to collect her mail.

Once the squares needed for each quilt were selected, Amy would add material to back and bind the quilts, and then would ship them to volunteers across the county to be finished. 

There ended up being 300 full-size quilts and 15 quilted banners made honoring those directly affected. Unfortunately, Amy was diagnosed with cancer and died in 2002. After 10 years of being in storage, the quilts were recently taken out and displayed in Fort Wayne for the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Volunteer and "Keeper of the Quilts" Beverly Kuemin has a goal of scheduling two showings in each state before sending them to New York City where they will stay permanently.

"That was Amy’s wish, and I want to help make that happen," Beverly told The Journal Gazette.