Q&A Interview with The American Tribute Project co-founders Josh Van Eerden, Taylor Schmidt and Will Marsh.
Q: What is "The American Tribute" project about?
Josh: Well, we're helping to continue The American Tribute idea, which was started after 9/11 as a reminder, through our nation’s fireworks tradition, of all that we have to celebrate as Americans. Our goal is to help promote something at this time in American history of all that we have to celebrate, in common, as Americans. Our country is exceptional and we sometimes forget that! We sometimes take these things for granted.
Q: How does The American Tribute project you have started accomplish that?
Taylor: We think that every public flag display has the potential to be a reminder to us, at a time when we really need it. We think that every public flag can be what we call a “marked memorial.” We have created iodized aluminum and brass plaques that will accomplish this – carrying a simple message about the spirit and character of America, and the cost and virtues required by our freedom.
Q: What will the memorial markers say?
Will: They will simply include the sponsor’s name, and The American Tribute stanza:
Red, for the blood of many heroes shed;
White, for freedom's light still shining bright; and
Blue, for the courage to stand tall and true!
Q: How did this all get started?
Josh: The Tribute is a very simple idea. It began to take shape in 2001, not long after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. My dad and mom and brothers and sisters and I had talked a lot about what an incredible time this has been for all of us, as Americans. And how we've come to appreciate, more than ever, what makes this country and its remarkably diverse people so incredible. Listen to the stories, look at the flags flying, consider the sacrifices people have made and the love they've shown: we were amazed. Then my cousin Taylor and my older brother, who is completing his preparations as a U.S. Marine Corps Officer, and some other friends came up with the idea to continue the message beyond the idea of the fireworks. What better time to launch this than during an election year, when we all start feeling so divided?
Q: How can you get the word out? It's a huge undertaking.
Taylor: Yes, this could be huge. We know that, and we’ll have to figure it out as we go. We need individuals and companies and non-profits to see the importance of this vision and make the idea their own, really. We will do whatever we can to serve them well.
For more information, contact The American Tribute Project.
©2002-2012. The American Tribute Foundation. All rights reserved.
Site design by Beacon Systems, Inc..