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Gold Star Families monument unveiled in Mercer County

Oct 24 2020
Hannah Howard | WVVA

MERCER COUNTY, W. Va. (WVVA) - Mercer County and the Woody Williams Foundation teamed up to build a Gold Star Families monument in Princeton, honoring families who lost loved ones in war.

"The monument is for my mom's third-oldest sibling, Bernard Ramon Wimmer. He was killed on the Oklahoma on Dec. 7th, 1941," Terry Snider, a Gold Star family member said.

"We have always been a real patriotic area, and I don't just mean Mercer County... all southern West Virginia has been," Mercer County Commissioner Bill Archer said. "So many of our sons and daughters have sacrificed their lives in order for us to enjoy the freedoms."

"This is not about me, it's about them," Woody Williams, Medal of Honor recipient, said. "They are the reason we're here. Without their sacrifice and the loss of their loved ones, we wouldn't be here this morning."

"It's hard to even describe how you feel when you see them connect with the monument, and to see them recognize that that belongs to them," Chad Graham, Woody Williams Foundation President, said. "It's an honor of them and their loved one's sacrifice."

For the family of Bernard Wimmer, they said the monument could not have come at a more perfect time.

"One thing that has been a real, true blessing is that Bernard was buried among the the unknowns being on the Oklahoma, and they just recently identified his remains," Betsy Porterfield, a Gold Star family member said. "Mom received the call on October 13th, which was Bernard's birthday, so God has his own plans."

The monument sits outside the Memorial Building in Princeton. This Gold Star Families monument is the 9th in West Virginia and 73rd in the country.