Posted by Admin - November 16th, 2012
There are few days that stand out in the history of the United State more than September 11th, 2001. This was a truly tragic event where over three-thousand innocent, civilian, Americans were killed by ruthless terrorists. It was a violent, painful, and memorable event that people have long struggled to deal with. Even today there are people who are struggling to deal with the grief of the events of those days. So many people were affected and so much changed due to that day. The sadness, loss, and pain that was experienced on that day has led to many people wanting to help.
There were many efforts to help the victim’s families following September 11, 2001. Actually, all efforts, immediately and long thereafter, were all about the “helping the victim’s FAMILIES” that were affected by September 11th and the many people who were still feeling the pain of the events. One of the major questions that people were asking in the aftermath of September 11th was, “what can I do?” Many people wanted to be able to participate in the healing process. Kevin Held was one such person who not only wanted to help, but who wanted to help others to go through the healing process as well. However, Kevin Held sought to approach his humbled healing process drawing ATTENTION BACK to where he felt it belonged, in which very little was being attributed to, THE VICTIMS, THEMSELVES! Soon after September 11, 2001 Kevin Held felt and personally believed that America became so caught up in helping the victim’s families, that many seemed to forget about the victims themselves, the souls of those we lost. So, Kevin Held lead an effort to pay tribute to and to honor the victims who lost their life on September 11, 2001 via a national tour through the memorializing of the VICTIMS, focusing on the victims, themselves, who lost their life on that frightful day, rather than focus on the victim’s families. Kevin Held’s vision was the creation of individual dedication quilt pieces (king sized white – FLAT, bed sheets), one dedication quilt piece per victim.With sheet in hand, and student volunteers waiting Kevin Held set out on the national tour visiting the first High School in AZ, within the first month of September 11, 2001 and then outreaching to Sacramento CA, just 2 short months AFTER September 11, 2001, ergo the American QUILT Memorial was BORN. Kevin Held’s vision of the American QUILT Memorial was up and IN ACTION within 30 DAYS with only one thought in mind; each time a specific dedication quilt pirece would be revealed and unveiled and displayed for the world to see, all the thoughts, feelings and/or prayers from the hundreds of Americans that contributed to that particular dedication quilt piece for that specific victim would be GOING STRAIGHT UP TO HEAVEN – DIRECTLY TO GOD, from complete strangers – it was for the victim’s souls that inspired the American QUILT Memorial for Mr. Held. It was years later that it would be decided that all the dedication quilt pieces being created would need to ultimately find a home, ergo the victim’s families became the heart warming and most inspirational choice to receive such a tribute that honored their loved one. This is why Kevin Held founded the American Quilt Memorial.
Kevin Held had no previous non-profit experience and was, he admitted later, unprepared for the overwhelmingly positive responsed nation-wide he had received from this monumental national effort he hoped to accomplish. He was, however, simply an American who was trying his best to help others memorialize the event in a way that was unique, meaningful and touching that would pay tribute to and honor the VICTIMS we lost.
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