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Williams to attend SI dedication

Oct 10 2018

Dylan Vidovich | Williamson Daily News

LOGAN - The grand opening and dedication ceremony for the City of Logan's Shawnee Island project is getting closer.

Originally slated for the middle of September, Shawnee Island will officially open to the public at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22. 

Located under the Water Street Bridge and accessed via the parking lot owned by the American Legion where the Plaza Lanes bowling alley is located, the new recreational area is set to include an array of attractions such as a viewing deck, picnic tables, fire pits and an area to load and unload kayaks. 

The grand opening of the Island was rescheduled for two reasons, said Logan Mayor Serafino Nolleti. 

One reason was due to the need for a new drainage system so water from the bridge above won't drain onto the Island. Nolleti said the city hopes to begin construction on the new drainage system this week. 

The other reason was because Oct. 22 is the only date one special guest was available: Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams. 

Williams, 94, and a West Virginia native, is a retired U.S. Marine Corps warrant officer and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs veterans service representative who received a Medal of Honor for his service during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. He is one of only four living World War II veterans with the Medal. 

Williams will attend the dedication of a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, as part of the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation.

The Gold Star Families Memorial honors families who have lost a loved one or loved ones to battle.

According to Amber Miller-Viars, Logan city clerk and one of the officials behind Shawnee Island's development, the monument will be a Gold Star "Family Swing Circle," which will include five golden swings. Each swing will be sponsored by a veteran group or an individual in memory of someone lost. 

"A lot of people don't realize what a person (Williams) is," Miller-Viars said. "He's so influential, he's such a wonderful man, and it's an honor to have somebody like him here to do something like this for us." 

The opening date of Shawnee Island is being billed as a full military service day, and other events scheduled for the day include a 21-gun military salute and a flyover.