Friday, May 23, 2008
An artist in Utah has been giving families of fallen soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan portraits as gifts of appreciation. It has been on the news here in Utah, but has recently gained national attention. Artist Kaziah Hancock contacts the families of fallen soldiers by mail and asks if they are interested in a portrait of their son, husband, wife, daughter or relative. The family then mails a picture of the loved one with a letter describing the soldiers personality, and she in turn does a portrait. The portraits are stunning. She has done more than 450 of them herself at no charge. Kaziah paints at her goat farm in Manti Utah and has started a non-profit organization called "Project Compassion". Project Compassion started in 2003 as Kaziah heard of a fallen soldier in Utah. She decided to offer a painting to honor the soldier and the family. The project trickled from there. She said her offering is "just a gift from one American to another". Kaziah says she tells them "I love you guys, you're beautiful and here's something to honor your precious son." Since the death toll has grown she has become more dedicated to giving each family a portrait of their fallen soldier. It now includes 5 artists, 4 in Utah and 1 in California. They complete about 50 portraits a month and have done more than 1000 all together. I think this is such an amazing story. I love stories of Americans who are truly making a difference. To me this is inspiring...
In this time of remembering, let's make a concerted effort to pay tribute to fallen and fighting soldiers. They truly are fighting for our freedom, our way of life and our right to blog about whatever we want. Let's do more than give lip service and do something for our soldiers and their families who are sacrificing so much. Whether we agree in the cause or not, I think we all agree that our men and women in uniform are heroes! I stand in awe of them and thank them for the brave service they do for me daily. And to those of you who have loved ones you are remembering, you are in my thoughts. Have a safe weekend everyone and stay safe!