February 27 2019
POCATELLO — A local Gold Star mother is spearheading an effort to build a new memorial in the city honoring families who have lost loved ones in service of the country.
The planned Idaho Gold Star Families Memorial Monument should be completed by this fall. Portneuf Development LLC, which is a developer involved in the planned Northgate District in northeast Pocatello, has donated land at Northgate for the project, according to a press release.
Gold Star mother Rebecca Webb, of Pocatello, is heading a committee planning the monument, which will cost an estimated $250,000 to build, according to the press release. The monument will reportedly be financed solely through grants and donations raised by the committee.
According to the planners, the monument will be located in a beautiful and reverent setting. The monument will have 44 gold stars representing every Idaho county and five eagle feathers surrounding it to represent the state’s Native American tribes.
The press release specifies a large gold star in the center of the memorial will “recognize the loss experienced by loved ones when a service member makes the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” as well as the service members who have given their lives in defense of the country.
The monument will include the flags of the U.S., the State of Idaho and each branch of the military. Flags will also recognize the Honor and Remember, Gold Star and POW-MIA organizations.
“This will be a place recognizing and honoring the fallen and the sacrifice borne by the families of the fallen across the state,” Webb said in the press release. “This will be a monument for all of Idaho.”
Similar memorials are being constructed throughout the country under the direction of the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, which is based in Louisville, Kentucky, according to the press release.
Williams is one of four surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipients. He earned the medal based on the courage he displayed during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Webb learned about Williams’ program when she met him at a national meeting of American Gold Star Mothers in Long Beach, California, according to the press release.
“There’s nothing in Idaho that recognizes the ultimate sacrifice of men and women who have lost their lives because of service to our country and the sacrifice made by their loved ones,” Webb said. “When I saw what the Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams Medal of Honor Foundation is doing, I was inspired to bring this monument to Idaho. A lot of good people have stepped up to help make this happen.”