On Flag Day, June 14, a group of kindergarten students from the Berkeley Hall School in Los Angeles presented a homemade "quilt of valor" to UCLA Health Operation Mend, a program that provides medical, surgical and psychological services at UCLA for wounded members of the military who have served after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
A military tradition, "quilts of valor" are homemade blankets given to wounded warriors to provide warmth and comfort. The class had been learning about patriotism and the quilt was their final project.
After the children performed songs that represented each branch of military service for the audience, the students and their teacher presented the quilt to Patti Taylor, a retired U.S. Army nurse and volunteer nurse with Operation Mend.
Each square in the kindergartners' quilt featured a star with a tracing of a student's hand on the inside. The 20th square, in the top left-hand corner read, ‘We salute you our American hero star. Made for you with love and gratitude by the Kindergarten students of Berkeley Hall School.’
The students’ teacher got the idea for the quilt project after reading an article in the L.A. Daily News about Taylor's own quilting group. The kindergarten class has made a quilt every year since 2012. The school’s donated quilts are displayed in the Operation Mend office and clinics.