Last week, for the first time, I personally presented a Fallen Warrior Quilt to the parents of a Fallen Warrior. I won't say too much about their son other than to say that he died several years ago on active duty.
I went to his home and sat with his parents and explained about Aussie Hero Quilts. I told them about the quilts and laundry bags we send to our deployed Aussie Heroes. I explained about the quilts we have in situ for Wounded Warriors when they are needed. Then finally, I explained about the Fallen Warrior Quilts we give to the families whose loved one has passed away so that they know that their loved one's service is appreciated, and remembered.
I explained how the blocks are sent in from all over the country and then they are assembled into a quilt top which is quilted and how sometimes a personal touch is added, maybe a crest or the member's name and service number. This quilt pictured is not the quilt I presented as that was personalised.
I then explained the back story... who had requested the quilt for them and why.... I do not think I should share much of that but I will say that this quilt was requested by someone who had once served in the same regiment as this young man and so felt a connection to him. I think that made the quilt and the gesture all the more meaningful.
Finally I pulled the quilt from the bag I had carried it in and passed it to the mother.
She slowly unfolded it and I can humbly say she loved it. And yes there were tears, quite a few, but in the end there was joy that someone had honoured her son with something so special. I don't think there is any denying that our Poppy Quilts are beautiful.. some of the loveliest quilts we make, which is only fitting.
Eventually the mother said, "how can I thank all these women?". I think perhaps they will write something that I can publish but regardless, I just wanted to share the joy I saw on her face when she looked at her beautiful quilt.
It was an absolute privilege for me to be there representing all of you who make the poppy blocks, who turn them into quilt tops, who add the quilting and the binding, and who add the personal touches, the crest, the applique.
With this quilt you made the parents of a Fallen Warrior smile as you gave them something very special that honours her son and will forever more remind them that he is remembered.