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Quilts of Valor Presentation Scheduled for Alleghany Highlands Heritage Day & Railway Festival

Clifton Forge, VA (May 7, 2018) - On Saturday, June 2 at 1:00 pm quilts will be presented to three area veterans representing three different wars, in honor of service to their country, during the Quilts of Valor Presentation at The Historic Masonic Theatre. The public is invited to attend.

Quilts of Valor Foundation began in 2003 with a dream. Founder Catherine Roberts’ son Nat was deployed in Iraq. According to Catherine:

“The dream was as vivid as real life. I saw a young man sitting on the side of his bed in the middle of the night, hunched over. The permeating feeling was one of utter despair. I could see his war demons clustered around, dragging him down into an emotional gutter. Then, as if viewing a movie, I saw him in the next scene wrapped in a quilt. His whole demeanor changed from one of despair to one of hope and wellbeing. The quilt had made this dramatic change. The message of my dream was Quilts = Healing.

I knew a Quilt of Valor had to be a quality-made quilt. A Quilt of Valor had to be quilted by hand or machine. Quilts of Valor would be “awarded,” not just passed out like magazines or videos. A Quilt of Valor would say unequivocally, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice, and valor” in serving our nation in combat”.

The first Quilt Of Valor was awarded in November 2003 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) to a young soldier from Minnesota who had lost his leg in Iraq. From there, the movement spread across the nation through the power of word-of-mouth and the Internet. Over 185,000 quilts have been awarded through the program. Catherine Roberts recalls:

“The team consisted of a quilt-topper, a person who pieces the top from various fabrics, and a quilter who uses a “longarm” quilting machine to create beautiful machine quilting”.

The group’s mission statement reads, “The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”

In the early days of the organization, the primary focus was on awarding quilts to service members wounded in the Iraq (OIF) and Afghanistan (OEF) conflicts. Before long, the non-profit foundation’s goal changed to cover ALL physically or psychologically wounded service members with a freedom quilt, honoring them for their sacrifices. Catherine Roberts remembers:

“As we were awarding quilts, the Vietnam vets said over and over again, “Ma’am, this is the first time in forty years anyone has ever thanked me for my service.”

The three veterans from Alleghany County will be honored by a Quilts of Valor organization from Staunton.

Alleghany Highlands Heritage Day & Railway Festival is celebrating its seventh anniversary of honoring the heritage of the Alleghany Highlands. This is the second year that Heritage Day is honoring the Veterans of the Highlands in addition to the history, music and stories of the people who settled the area. Over 100 demonstrators, displays, entertainers, food vendors and exhibits will populate the downtown area for the day. Welcome Stations will be set up on Commercial and Church, Jefferson and Church, the Masonic Amphitheatre Bridge, The Historic Masonic Theatre Entrance and the C&O Railway Heritage Center. Admission is free and Heritage Day runs from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information on Alleghany Highlands Heritage Day & Railway Festival, please visit the website and Facebook page and download the Alleghany Highlands Heritage Day & Railway Festival APP.

Alleghany Highlands Heritage Day & Railway Festival is sponsored by Alleghany County, Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center, Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, Alleghany Historical Society, C&O Railway Heritage Center, Clifton Forge Main Street, Town of Clifton Forge, Olde Town Covington, Covington/Hot Springs Rotary Club, Clifton Forge Woman’s Club, Friends of Clifton Forge Public Library, Clifton Forge School of the Arts, Clifton Forge Presbyterian Church, Historic Masonic Theatre, Ingevity, Northwest True Value, VFW Post 1033, Westrock.

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