Husted delivers remarks at the unveiling of the Gold Star monument | News, Sports, Jobs

TL Photo/CARRI GRAHAM The Monroe County Gold Star Families Memorial is unveiled Friday afternoon in Beallsville.

BEALLSVILLE — Rain and hail didn’t deter eager residents from attending the unveiling of the Monroe County Gold Star Families Memorial on Friday.

Hundreds of people lined the lawn at Beallsville American Legion Post 768, where the monument was erected late last month, for the dedication ceremony and unveiling of the monument. It has remained hidden since its introduction. The memorial is intended to honor veterans as well as the families of soldiers killed in action.

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, who was the first guest to speak, delivered an opening address, praising the county and what it is doing to support its veterans.

“It is a privilege to be here today in Monroe County – a beautiful place, great people who recognize the value of sacrifice and service. We are here to recognize Gold Star families who have lost a member. of their families in battle. To all of you, we know what a great sacrifice it has been,” he said.

Husted then looked at Hershel “Wooded” Williams, who was also present and scheduled to speak, and said it had been a “treat” to learn more about him. He thanked Williams for his service, as well as all the veterans in attendance.

Williams, a 99-year-old sailor and Medal of Honor recipient who served in World War II, is the co-founder of the Hershel “Wooded” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, the organization responsible for creating the Gold Star family memorials. Williams is a native of Fairmont, West Virginia, and is the only living Marine recipient of the World War II Medal of Honor.

Husted said it was important to preserve the legacy of the veterans honored by the monument and for the younger generation to understand the sacrifices made.

“As I always say, we have to as a nation, as a state and as a community, celebrate worth and remember what we value so that those young people out there, when it’s their turn…they know what what they sacrificed for them and what they have an obligation to preserve for generations, we all do. It’s American heritage. he said.

Husted spoke of the conflict in Ukraine as an example of “how quickly freedom can vanish without military force to back it up.

“That sacrifice gave us this country that we have today, and it’s something we must preserve forever,” he said.

Ohio is home to approximately 750,000 military veterans. Husted said the administration, including Gov. Mike DeWine, aims to make it the most military-friendly state in the nation.

“Not only to value the service of those who wear the uniform, but to support their families, because when one person in the family puts on a uniform, they all sacrifice themselves in one way or another,” a- he declared. “To all the veterans here, thank you.

When Williams spoke, he said Gold Star families know the cost of freedom. He said the monument will serve as a place where they can visit, meditate and remember their loved ones who will never be forgotten.

“A terrible number of Americans never return to their families and sacrifice their lives so that others can return to theirs. By remembering them in this way, we remember them all,” said Williams.

Other guest speakers at the event include Ohio Rep. Ron Rerguson, R-Wintersville; Monroe County Commissioner Mick Schumacher; and David Wiles, commander of Beallsville American Legion Post 768. The River High School band performed the national anthem and other songs throughout the event.

Members of the Gold Star families received flowers before being made to stand around the monument during its unveiling.

Beallsville is known as the American community that had the highest number of residents per capita killed during the Vietnam War. According to Ohio History Central, of the village’s 475 residents at the time, six men died in the conflict.

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