Sep 30, 2017
Dawn Kendrick | WKYC.com
CLEVELAND - Hershel "Woody" Williams will turn 94 on Monday.
He's the only living Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in World War II. It was for 'valiant devotion to duty' and 'service above self' during the battle at Iwo Jima.
Woody is in Cleveland on a quest to build a Gold Star Family monument downtown. He even met with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to get the ball rolling.
Williams' efforts have already helped to construct 21 monuments, including one in Medina. There are 47 monuments in-progress across the country.
He knows freedom is not free and that Gold Star Families continue to pay the price. We asked him to weigh in on the current controversy in the NFL that has seen several players take a knee during the National Anthem.
"I have great difficulty in understanding how a person can grow up in the country of America and then not be respectful to a flag under which millions have died. And not being respectful of the freedom that they have," Woody told WKYC Channel 3's Dawn Kendrick. "I just can't comprehend that."
Friday night, the Cleveland Indians honored Woody prior to their win over the Chicago White Sox.