Hershel Woodrow ‘Woody’ Williams ...

Contributed photo

Hershel Woodrow ‘Woody’ Williams is flanked by Gov. Jim Justice and four Gold Star Mothers on one side and Gold Star Marines on the other at the groundbreaking ceremony on the state capitol grounds in Charleston on Saturday.

By GREG JORDAN

For the Princeton Times

PRINCETON — A new committee is starting to raise the $45,000 needed for a black granite monument which will honor area families of veterans who lost their lives while serving their country.

Efforts to bring a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to Mercer County started last June when County Commissioner Bill Archer met Hershel “Woody” Williams, a World War II veteran and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Williams received the medal in recognition of his actions during the 1944 Battle of Iwo Jima. Archer spoke to Williams when he spoke at the 2019 Marine Corps League Mideast Division Conference near Princeton.

A new Gold Star Families Memorial honoring the families of servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the military is now being planned for Mercer County. This black granite monument would be erected near the Mercer County Courthouse.

Williams spoke with Archer about placing Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments across the nation. There are now more than 50 of these monuments in the United States. A groundbreaking ceremony was scheduled Saturday for a new monument in Charleston.

“I’m going up Saturday for the dedication of the state Gold Star Families Monument in Charleston,” Archer said, adding that the ceremony would be near the West Virginia Culture Center.

A local committee has been formed to start fundraising. This committee includes Archer, Sharon Bowling, Jeremiah Murphy, and Vicky Bailey of Rock.

“This is mainly to show the families who have lost loved ones that they have the county’s support and that their loved ones have not been forgotten,” Bowling said.

The Gold Star Family Memorial Monument, Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation is a 502C3 nonprofit organization.

“Any funds contributed to the Mercer County Gold Star Families Memorial will go 100 percent directly to our project,” Archer said.

To learn more about donating to the memorial project, contact Sharon Bowling at 304-809-7613 or sharon.bowling13@gmail.com. Archer can be contacted at 304-921-0029 or barcher_37@hotmail.com.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com