PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — A new exhibit at the National Quilt Museum is moving visitors to tears.
The Paducah Sun reports (http://bit.ly/1ErvlU1) "To Honor and Comfort: Quilts of Valor" exhibits quilts made for veterans, and each one comes with a story. They include people who have lost loved ones to war and others who simply want to do something meaningful for veterans.
Curator of Collections Judy Schwender said it's the first time the museum has had to place a box of tissues in one of its galleries.
The 34 pieces come from the Quilts of Valor Foundation. It was started in 2003 by a woman who had a vision while her son was deployed to Iraq of him being comforted by a quilt. Since then, the organization has given over 100,000 quilts to service members and veterans.
Museum docent and Vietnam veteran Robert Worden was honored with a quilt at the exhibit's opening.
"It's a very emotional thing. Even though you think you're prepared for it, when they drape that quilt on your shoulders, you know that somebody cares," he said.
Worden's gift was created by nationally known quilter Marianne Fons, but the exhibit features quilters of varying experience and inspiration.
"Trip Around the World," was made by a middle school student with the help of a school teacher in Utica, New York. Another piece, "Al's String Quilt," was created by a World War II veteran named Al Lind, a Nebraska native who was a prisoner of war and was awarded a Purple Heart.
Lind took up quilting after hearing about Quilts of Valor. When he died at age 92 in 2010, he left about 150 quilt tops behind. The quilt that hangs at the museum was completed after his death.
The exhibit runs through Veterans Day, when the quilts in the exhibit will be given to veterans from around the region.
"When they take each one of these down, it's going to be ... moving experiences," Worden said. "It's going to be a lot of tears."
Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com
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