Photo credit: Michael Hnatov
Accession Number: C.2014.403.4
Dimensions: 6 ft X 12 ft X 0.375 in
Dimensions (Metric): 15.24 cm X 30.48 cm X 0.9525 cm
Credit Line: Gift of An American Quilt, Inc.
Quilt panel composed of four individual handmade quilts from the project An American Quilt.
The first quilt on the left was created in memory of Ranger Jonn Edmunds and Ranger Kristofor Stonesifer who were lost during the October 19, 2001, invasion of Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom. The quilt is white and covered in handwritten notes. The center has the Ranger logo. A large American flag is in the top right.
The second quilt was created in memory of Kristofor Stonesifer. The fabric is covered in a deer, bear, and moose-printed fabric. There is a photo transfer of Stonesifer in the center below the appliquéd text: "Kristofor Stonesifer | KIA 10/19/01."
The third quilt was created in memory of Jonn Joseph Edmunds and is covered in photo transfers with text: "SPC Jonn Joseph Edmunds | 1-2-81-10-19-01 | Guarding the Gates of Heaven | Operation Enduring Freedom | KIA Pakistan | Forever Loved Always Missed."
The last quilt, on the far right, is a patchwork of patriotic fabrics and was created in memory of fallen soldiers and made by military moms.
An American Quilt, Inc., was conceived by lawyer and New York City resident Bill Bace in the days after September 11, 2001. Bace was familiar with the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt that honored the victims of the AIDS pandemic and felt that an undertaking of similar scope might help grieving relatives and others find some comfort through the ritual of collective remembrance.
In late September 2001, An American Quilt, Inc., was launched as a disaster relief charity, open to all interested participants. No prior needlecraft experience was required. Makers were encouraged to submit quilt designs measuring three feet by six feet and that memorialized a specific individual killed on 9/11 or paid tribute to an affiliated group of victims. With the October 2001 advent of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, several families of U.S. military casualties soon connected with the project organizers and submitted quilts in recognition of loved ones killed in the War on Terror.
More than 60 quilt panels were contributed to the project and were sewn together in groups of three to four panels for display in July 2002 at the Naumberg Bandshell in Central Park. The panels were then displayed in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall around the first anniversary of 9/11.
The evolution of this communal artwork was the subject of An American Quilt: Stitching Together Our 9/11 Memories (2016), a documentary by New York City–based collaborators Roz Sohnen and Lynn Cassanati. This sensitive film gave voice to the emotions and choices that six families navigated as they composed their respective panels and took comfort in that act of tactile tribute.
In 2013, Bill Bace donated the ensemble of quilts to the Museum.