A quilt of emotions
On April 23rd, Freedom Quilts presented quilts to the families of the fallen Iowa soldiers. The ceremony was held at the Capitol View Elementary School in Des Moines. Some of the Freedom Quilters came to the event to help honor the families and to reinforce their belief to continue helping with this project. It was a very emotional event for everyone there. The fifth grade students and Jody Benz made a quilt that was presented to the family of CWO Bruce Smith from West Liberty, who died when his helicopter was shot down in Iraq last November. Wife Oliva Smith's sister worked at Capitol View as the school nurse so this really made the students involvement with this quilt more special. After each family was presented their quilt they then had a chance to speak on behalf of their loved one. Nelson Carmen, parent of Lance Cpl Ben Carman who was killed April 6 in Iraq at the age of 20, said his son died doing what he felt he was called to do. Specialist James M. Kiehl left behind his beautiful wife and son. James never got to see his son but he believed strongly that he needed to protect us. Roberta Brooks brought an oil painting of her son and a scrap book to share (see photo.) Senator Harkin attended the event to honor the fallen Iowa soldiers. The volunteers of Freedom Quilts, based in Fonda, have made thousands of memorial quilts for families of those lost in the 9-11 tragedies, and now for families of soldiers lost in the war on terrorism.