Spencer marker honors Gold Star families
By CANDICE BLACK
SPENCER — A memorial honoring Gold Star Families, those who have lost family members who served in the military, is now a permanent part of the Spencer community with the help of the city and a local garden club.
Hill and Hollow Garden Club works on both a state and local level to promote gold star memorials and Carol Williams, club member and wife of Mayor Terry Williams, said the group decided to install one in Heritage Park and it was dedicated right before Memorial Day.
“We just got talking at garden club one day and had a little bit of money and decided we should put a Gold Star marker in town. We’re all very supportive of veterans so when we talked to (the mayor) and he said he would share the cost of the marker, the city paid half,” she said.
Heritage Park next to City Hall has memorials to represent both World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam War and Civil War and mayor Terry Williams said he didn’t realize a Gold Star marker was available.
“I had looked at different ideas but I didn’t realize that the large bronze standalone marker was even available until the local garden club approached me about it,” Terry Williams said. “It’s a beautiful thing and I jumped at the opportunity to work with the garden club to make this happen, they did a great job with it.”
A dedication ceremony was held May 28 and Terry and Carol Williams said it was well received by the community. Veterans, community members and a couple of gold star families came to the dedication.
“It was a really touching time to speak about that and to hear others speak about their loss,” Terry Williams said.
Honoring fallen veterans and their families is something instilled in Terry Williams from a young age and he talked about the importance of doing so.
“We live in a different world today. My dad was a World War II veteran and he instilled that in me, he would let me know if someone was killed in service. I tried to do that with my girls too,” Terry Williams said. “Although we have hundreds and thousands who went and fought, we also have thousands who gave their lives so we can do what we do today. We can’t forget those who gave it all. I think it makes us all more aware of what war is all about.”
Candice Black can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.