Dec 26, 2017
Michael L. Emerson | Tri-City Voice Newspaper
On Saturday, December 2, 2017 the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at Lone Tree Cemetery in Hayward was dedicated. This memorial embodies the vision and design of Medal of Honor recipient Hershel Woodrow 'Woody' Williams (AMVETS Hayward Post 911).
Woody is a 94-year young US Marine who earned his medal for combat actions in WWII during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Woody's goal is to have at least one of these memorials built in all 50 states. This Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Hayward is the 29th to be built, and the first in California and on the West Coast.
Two years ago, Marine Corps veteran Michael L. Emerson and his team chose to donate their time and effort to raise the funds required to build this memorial honoring the families of our fallen United States military heroes. It was a labor of love for Emerson and his associates.
About 150 people attended the dedication, including Woody Williams himself, US Congressman Eric Swalwell, Mayor of Hayward Barbara Halliday, Gold Star Families Representative Kevin Graves, and Lone Tree General Manager Ray Ortner, who all gave speeches. Local Honor Guards and members of AMVETS, VFW, American Legion, 40/8, DAV, and the Marine Corps League participated.
Many thanks to all the dignitaries and Gold Star Family members who attended the dedication. Thanks also to everyone who donated to the memorial and helped with its building and installation. Heartfelt sympathies and condolences to all Gold Star families. We honor your fallen loved ones and your families' sacrifice.