GREENSBORO, N.C. -- More than a dozen Christmas trees inside the Greensboro Cultural Center will feature photographs of veterans and active-duty service members as part of the ‘Tree of Valor’ project.
Lori Egerter, whose son is a Marine, explained that she has spent months collecting hundreds of photographs of men, women and K9s to honor on the trees.
“We’ve really really worked hard to honor what I consider the best of all of us,“ Egerter said.
She said the project started last year when she and her daughter decorated their own tree with photographs to honor her son while he was deployed.
“I decided to put them on the tree because I just was sad, and once he left I just couldn’t bring myself to decorate a Christmas tree,” Egerter said.
From there, she began collecting more photographs and took submissions from families.
“As it went on, I felt like God saw that I did something great with it," Egerter said. "And so every day I would just ask him for a new face, a new name and new person to honor, and every day he answered."
Egerter and her daughter Lexy, who has cerebral palsy, decorated each tree to honor a branch of military or group of men women or K9s who served.
“(It) takes me back and it lets me reflect, but I’m mostly proud of what our men and women do, and I was going to be a part of that,“ said Quentin Richardson, a former sergeant in the US Marine Corps and Army.
Egerter says she hopes to one day expand the project further.
“My goal is to literally take these trees from sea to shining sea,“ Egerter said.
She said Tuesday she is in need of more laminate to back the photographs.
She is accepting flooring samples for the project.