City Park Gold Star monument to be dedicated Monday
PARKERSBURG — The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at City Park, across from the pond, will be dedicated at 1 p.m. Monday.
Ground was broken April 16 for the monument designed to honor those who have sacrificed their lives to protect the United States and the families they left behind.
Among those scheduled to participate at the dedication are Master of Ceremonies James McCormick, Capt. U.S. Army (retired), Silver Star and three Purple Hearts; Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer and Hershel “Woody” Williams, U.S. Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient from World War II.
Williams came up with the concept for the Gold Star monuments, 47 of which have been dedicated and 61 are being built around the country. Several are in West Virginia, where Williams was born and raised and still calls home, and one is in Marietta.
His Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation encourages and assists with establishing the monuments.
“As time and future comes and goes, many will view this memorial and somehow know their freedoms and the freedoms of others were preserved by those we honor here today,” Williams said at the April groundbreaking in Parkersburg City Park. “They and their sacrifices must not be forgotten.”
Sophia D’Eramo of Vienna will sing the “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Carlin’s Battery D will fire a cannon at Monday’s dedication. There will be a combined Color Guard of the West Virginia National Guard and West Virginia Air National Guard.
James Furr of American Legion Post 15 will present the Gold Star Families, Woody Williams and the Gold Star Flag and escort them to the flagpole. Roy Trembly, commanding officer, and members of the Mid-Ohio Valley Platoon of West Virginia and Ohio, Marine Corps Veterans Association, will raise the flag.
American Legion Post 15 will present a 21-Gun Salute and “Taps.”
Shirley White, president of the West Virginia Department of the American Gold Star Mothers organization, will introduce the Gold Star Families. Dave and Susan Smith will perform “Amazing Grace.”
Chaplain Maj. Kevin Brosius will give the invocation and benediction. Mayor Tom Joyce will provide the welcome. The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Bill L. Walker, U.S. Marine Corps, master gunnery sergeant (retired).
In April Williams said he hopes the monument will provide some manner of peace and solace to families who know their loved one will be remembered.
“If it serves no other purpose, the rewards would be worthy of every effort that is made,” he said.
The City of Parkersburg assisted with surveys and engineering to prepare the site, which is located in the midst of other military monuments at the park.