The Power Of A Quilt

Two dozen veterans were presented with their own Quilt of Valor made by local volunteers Tuesday night.

Without context, it's just a quilt--squares of fabric sewn together and stitched down over batting--but simple fabric and thread humbled even a grizzled marine such as Denny Weisgerber, former mayor of Milpitas.

"It's not only an honor, it's an amazing feat," Weisgerber says of the quilt. "It's easy to come out and say 'thank you for your service' but this is a badge of honor."

Weisgerber, who lost a leg in the Korean War, was one of about 25 Bay Area veterans presented with a Quilt of Valor at Fremont Union High School District Tuesday evening. He was not alone in using the word "humbled" to describe how it felt to be a recipient of a quilt.

Cupertino's Mort Schorr, 84, was accompanied by granddaughters Haley and Abby Schorr who read aloud to him a segment of a Cupertino Courier article written about his involvement with the Blue Star Moms group several years ago that accompanied his quilt.

"I'm humbled," he says. "I'm flabbergasted with the talent it took to make these quilts."

Schorr, is a veteran of World War II whose son is a master sergeant in the Army.

Other notable recipients include Graham Clark, principal of ; Otto Lee, a Sunnyvale City Councilman who served a year-long tour in Iraq; May Alm, a nurse who served in five campaigns in World War II including Battle of Normandy and Battle of the Bulge; Leslie Williams, a Tuskegee Airman who along with all of the Tuskegee Airmen was collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal; and two Gold Star Moms who lost their sons in Iraq war.

Volunteers from local senior centers, South Bay Blue Star Moms, and adult education groups such as those at Sunnyvale-Cupertino Adult and Community Education center, led by Jerilyn Lightfoot, sewed the quilts for veterans earlier this year. Quilts of Valor is a national organization that began with a Delaware-based Blue Star Mom--a group that supports United States military members and their families--who wanted to find a way to thank veterans for their service.

Each quilt is unique: each was given a title reflective of the veteran--such as Alm's which is called Sweet Lady of Liberty--created with fabric in colors that represented the branch of service, and designed with personal touches.

Weisgerber was given the additional honor of accepting two quilts for "wounded warriors" which he will later present to the Palo Alto Veterans hospital where he volunteers a couple times a month.


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