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Gold Star Families memorial in Upper Makefield to be dedicated Saturday

June 7, 2018
Joan Hellyer | Bucks County Courier Times

The general public is invited to attend the 11 a.m. dedication at Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Upper Makefield.

A ceremony is set for Saturday morning at Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Upper Makefield to dedicate a Gold Star Families memorial.

It is the first monument positioned in a United States national cemetery to be dedicated to families whose loved one died during military service. 

The 11 a.m. ceremony is open to the public. It will take place near the visitors center at the cemetery off Highland and Washington Crossing roads. Attendees are encouraged to arrive prior to the beginning of the dedication, a cemetery spokesman said. 

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the black granite monument was held in December after Northampton residents John and Bernadette Heenan, two longtime members of the nonprofit Guardians of the National Cemetery, worked with the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation to secure federal permission to erect the memorial. 

Williams, a World War II veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, has spearheaded the national effort to honor the Gold Star Families. The memorials include different panels that tell a story about “Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice” and pay tribute to the Gold Star Families and their lost loved one. 

The nonprofit foundation helped coordinate construction of the first monument in 2013. There are now 35 dedicated monuments and another 42 in progress at sites around the United States. 

The $80,000 Gold Star Families monument at the cemetery in Upper Makefield has been funded with private donations, project coordinators said.

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