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New monument being constructed in Northfield to honor fallen soldiers and Gold Star Families

Oct 21, 2017 

Rebecca Reese | My Champlain Valley

Northfield, Vt. - Fallen soldiers and their families are being remembered in Northfield with a new monument.

An untraditional groundbreaking was held at Center Park Saturday around 9 o'clock in the morning. Instead of speeches and a photo op participants grabbed a shovel and got to work. Gold Star families worked alongside Vermont's Governor to get it started. 

"We decided that we wanted to get the Gold Star families involved and anyone else who wanted to do something productive so we're having a excavation day here," Gov. Scott said. 

A monument will be built in honor of Gold Star families. A Gold Star family is a family that has lost a relative during battle. 

Within the work crew were Gold Star families including a couple from Bolton, Vermont that lost their son 12 years ago– Kevin and Vickie McLaughlin. 

"Our son was killed on September 22, 2005," Kevin said. 

Their son, Sergeant Scott Paul McLaughlin, was originally a Marine. His parents got emotional while telling Scott's story. 

"He left the Marines after 9/11." Kevin continued, "He said he had more to do in the military." 

Scott then joined the Guard and was deployed to Iraq. Just two months later he was killed, which is why Kevin and Vickie decided to be a part of Saturday's ground breaking. They explained for Gold Star Families like their own, but most importantly to keep fallen soldiers from being forgotten. 

"We can never forget," Gov. Scott said. "We can never give back enough. I think this is just one small thing that we can do in order to memorialize everything they've gone through." 

Plans are laid out and the ground has been dug up. Scott said concrete will be poured next week to continue the process. 

The monument was funded by money raised at Gov. Scott's inaugural gala back in January.