Hershel "Woody" Williams Gold Star Families Memorial Monument

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WoodyGSFMM


Many great and wonderful people gave their life to defend the great freedom that Americans enjoy today. The families of those that fought and died for our freedom are called Gold Star Families. The MatchingFund is proud to be running a campaign to raise money for a Monument at Patriots Point, assuming approvals, in honor of the Gold Star Families. Hershel "Woody" Williams, a Medal of Honor Recipient who defended our country at Iwo Jima, is supporting this $65,000 campaign. Many other people have already given as well. Please give as much as you can for this worthy cause.


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Marine Corps veteran Hershel "Woody" Williams, the last surviving recipient of the nation's highest military honor from the pivotal World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, was giving a speech to a community civic group. His goal at the time was to find ways to honor Gold Star Mothers, those who lost children in the service to their country.


But afterwards, a man approached him. The man's wife had died before their son joined the military, and when the son was killed in Afghanistan the father was left to grieve alone.


"Tears were rolling down his cheeks," Williams recalled. "The only thing he said to me was, 'dads cry, too.'


"At that point, I realized we, as a country, had failed to recognize the rest of the family and we must change that thinking and begin to recognize and honor the GOLD STAR FAMILIES"



A seed was planted. As a young boy on a dairy farm in West Virginia, Woody could never have imagined that a passion and vision would begin to develop because of the experiences he had as a young man. As a cab driver, his duties were to deliver Western Union telegram death notices to families that had lost a loved one in battle. This experience weighed heavy on Woody's heart through the years, while his dreams began to take shape. Now, years later, Woody’s vision of honoring and paying tribute to these Gold Star Families “for their sacrifice of one of their loved ones has become a reality”.


"WHAT IS A GOLD STAR FAMILY MEMBER"?

"A wife, husband, mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, parent through adoption, foster parents who stand or stood in loco parentis, children, stepchildren, children through adoption, brothers, sisters, half brothers, half sisters, aunts, uncles, grandchildren and grandparents of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States that sacrificed their life for our way of life and the American flag under which they served."

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