My name is Betty Nielsen, and together with my husband, we founded Freedom Quilts. This project started after Sept 11, 2001. Many of us were horrified when we watched on TV what was going on in New York and the Pentagon and in the field of Pennsylvania. Many of us were numb as we watched those terrible tragedies unfold.
I didn’t lose anyone that day, but felt in my heart like I had. I got on my knees and prayed asking God to help me find a way to comfort those who were mourning the loss of their loved ones. So many people came up with their own idea of how to help the families of 9-11. The country was united is such a powerful way by the events of that day. Many worked hours and hours at Ground Zero to help find loved ones or friends. Many came forward to donate blood. Others came with food and water to give the workers at Ground Zero or towels to wipe their dusty faces. Many donated money to help the families. Many young men and women joined the military services to protect us all so another 9-11 would not happen.
God had something else in mind for me. I was to make quilts. It started with making the five original Freedom Quilts. Then, I wanted to give a quilt to each of the 9-11 victims’ families and the soldiers’ families in honor and memory of their loved ones. The quilts will give love and comfort to families and show them they have not been forgotten. Families can wrap themselves in their quilts whenever they needed to feel the love that was put into each of the quilts.
Quilts came from quilters all over the world. Those who helped the Freedom Quilts project ranged from little children to adults, all wanting to bring comfort to families. This project continues because there are families who are still need comfort.
Freedom Quilts come with prayers, love and even tears — for as we sew, sometimes our tears fall upon a quilt. Many, many hours go into making quilts. These quilts are a symbol of what we can do when we join together to help one another. As long as Freedom Quilts has the money, we will continue to make quilts. Freedom Quilts are made and given to the victims’ families as a reminder to all that if we unite together, we can do anything. It is a reminder why this country is so great.
We will never forget what happened on Sept 11, 2001. We will never forget the soldiers who have bravely given up their lives for the rest of us to enjoy Our Freedom.
God Bless Us all and God Bless America.
- Betty Nielsen