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Military tribute quilt honors veterans, supports active military personnel

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 11, 2014)-- A military tribute quilt is on display at the Indiana War Memorial Museum to honor veterans and active military personnel.

It took six years to finish the quilt. Every patch is a personal story of a veteran who fought for our country.

"I want them to think about those who serve and sacrifices every day. Maybe encourage them to do something simple," said Grace Atherton, who had the idea for the project.

Atherton is a native of Shelbyville, Indiana. Her father is a former Marine.

"I wanted to do something creative. I just wanted to do something to say 'thank you' for those that are serving, " said Atherton.

In the center of the quilt is a painting honoring those who served from WWII to present day.

This painting is surrounded by 58 photos and signatures of veterans who previously served or who sacrificed their lives.  Underneath each photo is the veteran's signature - unless he never made it back home.

"I wanted to remember those who were missing in action or POWs," explained Grace Atherton.

Sgt. First Class Timothy Lowe retired after serving twenty years for the United States Army. Sgt. Lowe saw the finished quilt for the first time on Veteran's Day.

"It thrilled me to know that I can be a part of something that will be a everlasting memorial to those that have served, those that are serving and those that will serve," said Sgt. Lowe.

Atherton is now partnering with Soldier's Angels to raise money for care packages. This will enable Soldiers' Angels to send 350 military care packages for an average of $30 each including postage.  For every $250 or more donated, Soldiers' Angels will print and send ten postcards featuring the center painting.

"I think people do care, but they can always care more," said Atherton.

The memorial tribute quilt will be on display at the Indiana War Memorial Museum until the end of the month.