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New monument honors Gold Star Families

Nov 10, 2017 

Chad Thompson | The Messenger

A monument to honor families who have lost a loved one in time of combat has been added to Veterans Memorial Park, northwest of Fort Dodge.

Those families are called Gold Star families, according to Terry Moehnke, project chairman of the park. 

You don’t just send one person off to battle,” Moehnke said. “It’s the whole family. A lot of sleepless nights. A lot of worrying.” 

This is a way to honor those left behind after the sacrifices made,” he said. 

Moehnke is a U.S. Navy veteran who led the effort to create Veterans Memorial Park.

Veterans Memorial Park is located on the northwest corner of Badger Lake in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

The Veterans Council, Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma, and private contributions to Veterans Memorial Park funded the estimated $50,000 memorial. 

The monument is about 15 feet across and is made of black granite. 

It features a gold star on one side. That side reads, “A tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives who sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.” 

The other side depicts images of homeland, family, patriotism and sacrifice.

A quote from Gen. George S. Patton is displayed on that side. It reads, “It is foolish to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

A cutout of a soldier giving a salute can also be seen.

The monument was set about a week ago, Moehnke said.

According to Moehnke, more than 350 families in Webster County have lost someone who served.

This is honoring the families who have family members who are serving or have served,” he said.

A formal dedication for the monument is to be held in the spring, he said.