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New monument to honor Gold Star, surviving Family members

June 02 2022
Mari-Alice Jasper | Main Street Clarksville

Gold Star and surviving Family members, Fort Campbell Soldiers and community leaders gathered May 24 for the unveiling of the new Gold Star Families Memorial Monument.

“This monument fills an incredibly critical gap and allows us to openly and publicly honor those whose lives will forever be defined by sacrifice, strength and endurance,” said Maj. Gen. J.P. McGee, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell. “For as long as it stands, the Fort Campbell Gold Star Families Memorial will serve as a visually stunning reminder of what our surviving Families mean to our installation, our Army and our country.”

Kelli Pendleton and Charlie Koon, champions of Fort Campbell, worked with the Woody Williams Foundation to bring this memorial to the Fort Campbell community.

“We hope that we did you proud on this monument and that we got it right,” Pendleton said. “We hope this is a place for you to come and reflect. We hope it continues to be a place where we educate our young people about the sacrifices that your loved ones made.”

The monument is a two-sided tribute made of black granite. One side bears the words “Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families and relatives who sacrificed a loved one for our freedom.” On the other side, there are scenes etched on each of the four panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. At the center of the tribute is a silhouette of a saluting service member.

“Your example, as symbolized in this monument, will have an immeasurable impact upon our current and future Soldiers, their Families and all who serve,” McGee said. “Simply put, we the Soldiers, Families and civilians of Fort Campbell, will draw strength from your strength, will draw resilience from your resilience and draw resolve from your resolve.”

McGee thanked the Gold Star and surviving Family members for their sacrifice.