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York Township Gold Star Family Memorial Honors Those Who Served

Jan 30 2019

Grayson Hayest | Cleveland.com

The U.S. soldiers provide the most important service in America, protection. Soldiers help America, but they also help other countries. When American soldiers die, it is very hard for their family. If a mother or father dies, it is hard for a single parent to support their kids. These families that have lost a loved one in the Armed Forces are known as Gold Star Families. The Hershel Woody Williams foundation was created to make Gold Star Family Memorials and give scholarships to Gold Star Children.

Mickey Kennedy, a Medina County resident, is an honorary member of the Woody Williams foundation who was challenged to create a Gold Star Family Memorial in Medina County. Kennedy took this challenge to heart. His first step was to find a home for the Monument in Medina County. "After much difficulty, I settled on York Township Park, a beautiful location to show our love of the military and their sacrifices made for our country to keep it a free nation," said Kennedy.

The only way it could be built was off of donations. They started to get donations from community leaders and members, as well as the sale of paver bricks and granite pieces to represent people who served in our military. Anyone could make a donation for the construction of the monument. After two years of creating and preparation, they finally broke ground in May of 2016. After installation of most of the paver bricks and granite, the memorial site was dedicated November 12, 2016.

"I mainly built the monument to remember the sacrifices made and the loved ones lost, the lifelong pains of losing a family member and the deep love I have for the military organizations in our county," Kennedy stated.

Woody Williams is an America patriot that served in the Marine Corps and received the Medal of Honor for sacrifices above and beyond during his call of duty. He is 94 years old and continues to serve his country well. "An amazing man," said Mickey Kennedy. Hershel Woody Williams has a ship and many buildings named in his honor and he still devoting most of his time to his country and the men and women who served in our military. Hershel Woody Williams once told Mickey Kennedy, "I am not a hero, the men who didn't come home are the heroes."

"With a gracious help of assistance by Jim Milano of Milano memorials who made this project possible, and may we give thanks at this time to many of my friends who devoted many laborious hours and monetary donations to make this a successful project," said Kennedy. Since then, they have added benches dedicated to each branch of the military, along with more granite pieces and pavers. The Gold Star Family Memorial is located at 3878 Columbia Road. 

Grayson Hayest, a sixth-grader at Visintainer Middle School, is one of over fifty student "backpack journalists" (grades 6-12) in the award-winning BEAT Video Program. 

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