Mar 29 2022
Jack Hillgrove | WTOV 9
BEALLSVILLE, Ohio — American Legion Post 768 will be the site of the Monroe County Gold Star Families Monument.
The site is currently being protected by a blue tarp. But next week, that tarp will be removed and the monument will be unveiled.
“This is a Monroe County monument and for all wars,” said Dave Wiles, post commander and Gold Star Committee chair. “From the revolution until now, for anyone that’s lost a family member in combat.”
The village of Beallsville has the highest loss rate per capita in the U.S. of fallen soldiers in the Vietnam War. County Commissioner Mick Schumacher said he is hopeful this dedication will ease the minds of those families.
“It’s hard to celebrate that, but it needs to be represented,” Schumacher said. “It was a very difficult time if you had lost somebody to find closure, and we’re hoping that this will bring that about.”
The Woody Williams Foundation has more than 80 of the monuments installed nationwide. Honorary Chairman Hershel Williams, a 98-year-old World War II veteran and the last surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor during World War II, will be in attendance.
“We’re very proud that we found a very good place here at the Legion,” Schumacher said. “We’ve had a lot of good support. We’ve raised almost $80,000, mostly just residents, a few corporate donations, but mostly just people that care.”
Wiles has spearheaded the planning for the dedication and is hopeful for an emotional and exciting day next Friday.
“When I looked at it when they brought it up it brought tears to my eyes,” Wiles said. “It’s an amazing thing to do for the families and our county.”
The dedication for the monument will take place next April 8 at noon at Legion Post 768.