Representatives of Gold Star Families of Delaware and officials with the Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation broke ground April 9 for a new Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to be located at the Delaware River and Bay Authority's Veterans Memorial Park in New Castle.
For the past seven months, the local memorial monument committee co-chaired by Judy Campbell and Valerie Huot has focused its efforts on raising $45,000 to fund the project. The new memorial is expected to be dedicated in late September 2018.
"As a country, we owe a debt of gratitude to those who served and those who paid the ultimate price so we may live in freedom," said Campbell. "When a service member gives their life in defense of our country, it's the family members who deal with the loss on a daily basis. The Gold Star Families Memorial honors the Gold Star Families who have lost a loved one in defense of the United States and helps preserve the memory of the fallen family member."
The Gold Star Families Memorial is a stunning black granite monument featuring two sides. One side bears the words "Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Mothers, Fathers and Families who have sacrificed a Loved One for our 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, a saluting silhouette which represents the loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.
In October 2017, the Delaware River and Bay Authority agreed to set aside land in Veterans Memorial Park adjacent to the Delaware Memorial Bridge and install related infrastructure for the project. Once the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is dedicated, DRBA will maintain the memorial and its associated landscaping.
"We're honored to be able to work with the Gold Star Families of Delaware and the Hershel 'Woody' Williams Medal of Honor Foundation to find a suitable location on the grounds of Veterans Memorial Park for this new memorial," said Thomas J. Cook, DRBA executive director. "A place of remembrance, tranquility and honor, Veterans Memorial Park is home to many monuments, memorials and statues that pay tribute to our country's finest. Each one of them serves as an eternal reminder that freedom isn't free. We look forward to the dedication of this special memorial monument in September."
The Gold Star Family Memorial Monument was created by Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams to remember those families who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
To make contributions to aid the Gold Star Families of Delaware memorial project, go to www.hwwmohf.org/wilmington-de.html.