Marine’s mother receives memorial
CHATHAM – The mother of Lance Cpl. Christopher B. Cosgrove
III, a Marine killed in Iraq, accepted a quilt made by Chatham
children in his honor Monday, Nov. 13.
Lance Cpl. Cosgrove’s mother, accepted the quilt from the children,
led by Chatham sewer Liz Hackett, while a roomful of quilters,
parents and onlookers wiped away tears at the Chatham United
Methodist Church on Main Street.
Alexie Marqueen, Isabella
and Jerry Saluti, and Will and Paul Hackett, all of Chatham,
presented the quilt to Bowie.
Her son, Lance Cpl. Cosgrove,
a 2001 graduate of Whippany Park High School in Hanover Township,
enlisted in the Marines in 2005 after graduating from Monmouth
A member of Charlie Company, Second Battalion,
25th Marines, stationed at Picatinny Armory in Parsippany, he was
deployed to Iraq in the spring. He and another Marine were killed
Oct. 1 by a roadside bomb at a checkpoint in Iraq’s Anbar Province.
Lance Cp. Cosgrove had anticipated returning to civilian life soon
and had applied to become a police officer in Hanover Township.
Over the summer, Liz Hackett, the grandmother of Will and
Paul Hackett, recruited several of her grandchildren’s friends and
neighbors to sew squares for a memorial quilt to give to the family
of a soldier killed in wartime.
Hackett, known to friends
and family as “Omi,” got involved in the “Home of the Brave Quilt
Project” a few years ago and has helped make several quilts for the
She continues to use a 60-year-old sewing machine,
and involves children in the creation of a quilt by teaching them to
sew their own quilting squares.
The “Home of the Brave Quilt
Project” is a volunteer organization of quilters from around the
country who create quilts as gifts for the families of American
soldiers fallen in the service of their country.
organization encourages people to put aside political beliefs in
honoring soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The “Home of the Brave” project was born when
Donald Beld, a quilter from Redlands, Calif., decided to make
reproduction U.S. Sanitary Commission quilts for American servicemen
During the Civil War, the U.S. Sanitary
Commission was a volunteer organization formed to raise supplies and
funds for Union soldiers.
According to the “Home of the
Brave Quilt” Web site, the commission also oversaw the sanitary
conditions of military hospitals.
Sanitary Fairs were held
during the Civil War to raise funds and solicit supplies for the
The Women’s Auxiliary arm of the Sanitary
Commission made 250,000 quilts over two and one-half years and
donated them to the Union army.
The quilts were carried
through battlefields as part of the soldier’s bedrolls, and were
used to keep wounded soldiers warm in military hospitals.
Only four of the Sanitary Commission quilts are known to
exist. Many Civil War servicemen were buried in their quilts.
The quilt presented to Charlene Bowie consisted of 41 blocks
made by 29 children ranging in age from 8 to 13, as well as eight
mothers, two grandmothers and one aunt.
Hackett taught each
of the new quilters how to assemble a square, starting with pre-cut
fabrics. In the center of each square, the quilter put a piece of
fabric with a small picture on it; the picture was then surrounded
by contrasting pieces of fabric, alternating from dark to light,
like a checkerboard.
Each person then ironed his or her
fabric creation onto fusible interfacing, and using Hackett’s
60-year-old sewing machine, sewed the seams together.
child and adult made his or her own square from start to finish.
Most participants took a short sewing lesson from Hackett before
sewing their square together, and Hackett noted she was proud to
report no injuries and complete sewing success.
were then arranged into a design by a professional quilter and
assembled on a bright blue background.
The quilt was
presented to Bowie during a meeting of the Garden State Quilters’
Guild, held at the Chatham United Methodist Church.
addition to the presenters, the children who helped make the quilt
and were able to attend the meeting included Matthew Saluti, Kristen
Marqueen, Madeline Hamilton, Kiera Rosen, Kelly Mabin, Kristin and
Lauren McDermott, Laura Barber and Kate Purshke.