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PEACE-ing It Together: P.S. 40's 9/11 Quilt

contact: Shelley Hoberman, School Social Worker



It was just the 5th day of school when we could no longer ignore the sirens which rang ever more insistently in our ears.  Our school is located 2 miles northeast of the World Trade Center and had responsibility for 500 plus grade school children until their families were able to get through the ensuing dust and panic to pick them up.

In the days, weeks and months that followed, as the dust settled, our school community would begin a process of comprehending terrible events. This quilt was one of the ways in which parents, children and teachers came together to literally stitch together what we then felt to be our shattered world.  The idea was to offer everyone in our school a chance to contribute at least a single stitch.

A tragedy of the magnitude of 9/11 created an imperative for us to find messages that could offer comfort, healing, and unity. These hand stitched images contain multiple layers of meaning- a memorial for lost lives; a tribute to the heroes, rescuers and survivors; a wish for peace and friendship in the world; our shining school building and rainbow framed skyline; our singed heart; our country's flag; our determination to stand together, holding hands. Families from our school contributed words for peace in the many languages that comprise our multicultural school.

From simple pieces of fabric we tried to tell this story and to bring a message of peace to the world.

Quilters: Jeanne Sondhein, Marcy Rios, Maria Florentino Tama O'Brien, Loiuse Carmel, Barbara Fletcher, Michelle Dominic, Maureen Ippolito, Angela Laine, Freida McCarten, Elizabeth Mishell, Molly Elliot, Nancy Sing-Bach, Bonnie Cummings, Jenn Hale, Iris Hernandez, Shelley Hoberman and all the teachers, children and families of our community.

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