The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument
The purpose of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is to honor Gold Star Families, preserve the memory of the fallen, and stand as a stark reminder that Freedom is not free. This stunning black granite monument features two sides. One side bears the words: Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives who have sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom. The other side tells a story through the four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. The scenes on each panel are a reflection of each community’s Gold Star Families and their fallen Heroes. At the center of this tribute is the most distinct feature of the monument, the cut out which represents the Loved One who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Freedom.
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A seed was planted. As a young boy on a dairy farm in West Virginia, Woody could never have imagined that a passion and vision would begin to develop because of the experiences he had as a young man. As a cab driver, his duties were to deliver Western Union telegram death notices to families that had lost a loved one in battle. This experience weighed heavy on Woody's heart through the years, while his dreams began to take shape. Now, years later, Woody’s vision of honoring and paying tribute to these Gold Star Families “for their sacrifice of one of their loved ones has become a reality”.
The goals and objectives of the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation are to continue to nurture the seed that Woody has planted and bring his full vision to fruition through this project.
Our monuments include the promotion, creation, and implementation of Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments throughout the country. The original monument was established at the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery Dunbar, WV in 2013. To date there are 44 monuments which have been dedicated with 46 additional monuments in progress representing a total of 39 states in which we currently have a footprint.