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Gold Star memorial for Tulsa delayed by pandemic

Sep 18 2020
Burt Mummolo | KTUL 8

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — It's been nine years since Sgt. Anthony Peterson was killed in action in Afghanistan, giving his loved ones the designation of a Gold Star family.

"We didn’t know what one was until we became one," said his father, Garth Peterson.

"Most people don’t," said David Rule, who's also part of the Gold Star community after his father was killed in Korea.

"In the veteran’s community, we would love to have a memorial that would honor our fallen comrades and the sacrifice of their families," said Joshua Starks, senior vice commander of the Tulsa VFW.

It's a memorial that's already been erected in over 60 other communities across the country. Last summer, buzz was building to have one here in Tulsa.

"Right over there, in the corner of 6th and Peoria," said Rule.

But then came COVID.

"Pandemic really did, I mean, we were right there," said Starks.

Fundraising for the memorial took a backseat to everything else, but then life slowly adapting to a new normal.

"The city of Olathe, Kansas, started their project three and a half years ago and it's going to be dedicated a week from today," said Rule.

All of which is reigniting the effort to get the Tulsa monument built.

"Unless you get the whole community of Tulsa behind this project, it will ever happen," said Rule.

"That monument that he’s proposing to do is really for Tulsans and for Oklahomans remembering the sacrifice of those that were made for their freedoms," said Peterson.

It will no doubt be at least another year before Tulsa gets a Gold Star monument.

"If you know a Gold Star family or you hear of one, you know, reach out to them, let them know that you remember them and their sacrifice," said Peterson.

If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe for the Tulsa memorial, click here.