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For the families of the fallen

By Staff | Feb 15, 2017

Herschel Woodrow “Woody”?Williams, 92, of West Virginia, is a World War II?veteran who wanted to honor Gold Star families in his state with a memorial.

From that effort, the dream of having a Gold Star Families Memorial in every state grew.

Local supporters are seeking around $45,000 to bring the memorial monument to Estherville.

The quartz monument is built to local specifications and delivered free via UPS.

“It is, as of now, the only one in Iowa. Ft. Dodge has a plan for one, but they have not yet started,”?Reekers said.

Reekers said he hoped Estherville’s would be the dedicated monument for Iowa. The monument would be four feet high and 10 feet wide.

The project has already received $1,000 from Black Hills Energy, and $5,000 from the Hershel Williams foundation. Additional grants are pending, Reekers said.

The plan is for the monument to be delivered and dedicated in July, 2018.

“Veterans and their families are certainly something the county has always supported,”?county supervisor Tim Schumacher said.

The black granite monument features two sides. One side bears the words: Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Mothers, Fathers and relatives who have sacrificed a Loved One for the nation’s Freedom.

The other side tells a story through the four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. The scenes on each panel are a reflection of each community’s Gold Star Families and their fallen heroes. At the center of this tribute is the most distinct feature of the monument, the cut out which represents the loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

In addition to the original monument, established at the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery in Dunbar, West Virginia in 2013, an additional 13 monuments have been dedicated, with 39 additional projects in progress, representing a total of 29 states in which the foundation currently has a footprint.