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Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams to Break Ground on Gold Star Family Monument in Wheeling

Apr 14 2019

Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams will be on hand at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Heritage Port for the groundbreaking of Wheeling’s Gold Star Families Monument. The monument will be erected at the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater at the port.

The public is invited to attend in support of the Gold Star families whose relatives gave the ultimate price in the line of duty with the U.S. military. Williams is the sole surviving Medal of Honor recipient of the World War II battle of Iwo Jima and a native of West Virginia.

Williams realized that when a loved one made the ultimate sacrifice in the military, the loss was to the entire family. He then started the memorial project about eight or nine years ago as a way to acknowledge and thank Gold Star families for their enduring sacrifice while ensuring their fallen heroes are not forgotten.

Williams hopes to see Gold Star monuments in all 50 states.

To date about 42 monuments have been erected.

The monument was designed by Williams and architect Kenton Blackwood. Each monument is just over 7 feet tall and 13 feet wide, and consists of four black granite panels. One side will bear the words: “Gold Star Families Memorial Monument — a tribute to Gold Star Families and relatives who have sacrificed a loved one for our freedom.”

Marine veteran John Nanny, chairman of the Hershel “Woody” Williams Scholarship Foundation, Mayor Glenn Elliott and other officials will be on hand Wednesday.