Submitted by E. Louise Baker, Tropic Star Quilter
Tropic Star Park hosted a very special event on Sunday, March 6. Fifty-six veterans were honored with the presentation of a patriotic quilt made by the quilting ladies of Tropic Star.
This special event began three years ago. Someone shared the idea of honoring the veterans in our park with a patriotic quilt. Identifying the veterans in our park was completed by a dedicated committee. Their results were shocking. How could our quilting group produce all the quilts needed?
However, work began, and word spread about the project. Soon many folks were supporting the large project.
The quilters sewed, others cut the fabric, some pressed as the sewing progressed. Some quilters made the tops at their summer homes. Many contributed funds to purchase fabric and pay for the quilting. What an exciting adventure.
To date, 108 quilts have been presented to the veterans residing in Tropic Star Park.
The first quilts were presented to 30 veterans in 2020. It was such a wonderful feeling to honor our veterans who had given so much. They made great sacrifices so that we Americans can enjoy a peaceful nation. Their sacrifice gives all of us the freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom to protest, the right to a fair trial and the right to vote.
The project began with honoring those veterans who had served in World War II. Later veterans from other conflicts were honored in the following years.
The pandemic did not prevent the dedicated quilters from honoring 20 veterans at an outdoor presentation in 2021. Folks watched, cheered, and saluted our veterans from their golf carts on a beautiful spring morning. This was another great emotional event as the red, white, and blue lap size quilts were presented to the honored veterans.
The most recent event, presenting 56 quilts to our honored veterans, was truly full of emotion. Around 300 folks (family and friends) stood to honor the 56 veterans as they proceeded down the aisle following the Tropic Star flag bearers of America and each branch of the service.
Some veterans proceeded with their walkers, some with crutches, but all proud veterans. The honored folks, including three ladies, had served their country in a variety of ways and in many conflicts.
The Veterans Quilting Committee proudly displayed the full quilt before it was presented to each veteran. Patti Hoerr, Chairperson for the Sewing Room at Tropic Star, shared the veterans specific service as the quilt was presented.
Fifty-six quilts. Each a different design made by folks who wanted to show appreciation for the sacrifices the veterans had made.
Sewn in each quilt is a label that reads: “One Quilt to Warm You–Thousands of Stitches to Thank you,” Tropic Star Military Quilters.