May 31 2021
Ford Hatchett | WXII12
ELKIN, N.C. — As the nation prepares to commemorate Memorial Day on Monday, hundreds gathered Sunday in Elkin to unveil the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument.
"They said with their life, 'you may take my life, but you cannot take my freedom,'" 97-year-old Woody Williams said.
Williams is the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from WWII and his foundation helped bring this monument to Elkin.
"As time and future goes and comes many will view this memorial," Williams said. "In some way they will know that their freedom and perhaps the freedom of others, was preserved by those that we honor here."
Sunday's ceremony at Elkin City Park saw nearly 300 Rolling Thunder bikers in attendance who ride across the south to honor prisoners of war and soldiers who have gone missing in action.
Harold Frank, 96, was a prisoner of war during WWII after being captured by the Germans. He spoke at today's event about the cost of war.
"We have lost too many of our good American boys in foreign wars," Frank said. "I’ve got a bullet I wear every day around a chain on my neck with my other medals, so I won’t forget, how close I came to dying over there."
Cindy Stonebreaker works for the Woody Williams Foundation and addressed the roughly two dozen Gold Star families in attendance who laid flowers at the foot of the memorial.
"This is a place for you to reflect and know that Elkin and North Carolina honors you and that your loved ones will never be forgotten," Stonebreaker said.