Gold Star groundbreaking

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 2018.

PRINCETON — A dedication date is being set for a new memorial which will honor the families with loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

A local committee started in June 2019 to raise the money that was needed to erect a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Mercer County. County Commissioner Bill Archer said Friday that more than $70,000 had been raised for the memorial.

The monument committee met recently by teleconference and set the dedication date for Oct. 24 this year, Archer said.

Plans call for erecting the monument next to the Memorial Building which houses the Those Who Served War Museum. An M41 Bulldog Walker tank now on display at the site will be moved a little to make room for the new monument, he said.

“The tank over there is going to be moved and the monument’s going to be close to the sidewalk there, and this coming Wednesday we’re going to have a teleconference with the lady we’ve been working with at the Woody Williams Foundation to finalize the three benches that we have that will be honoring three families that have lost loved ones in combat.”

Fundraising started when Archer met Hershel “Woody” Williams, a World War II veteran and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. Williams received the medal in recognition of his actions during the 1944 Battle of Iwo Jima. Archer spoke to Williams during the 2019 Marine Corps League Mideast Division Conference near Princeton.

A date for starting construction has not been set yet. Archer said the committee is waiting to speak with a contractor about preparing the site, but it is hoped that work can begin soon.

When the fundraising effort began, it was helped by a major $30,000 matching grant pledge from an anonymous donor along with contributions from individuals and local businesses, Archer said. In one example, Grants Supermarket donated $1,000 to the monument project.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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