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Gold Star Families monument debuts at Veterans Shrine

Jun 23 2024
Drew Frey | Ft. Wayne FOX 55

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Fort Wayne's ever-growing Veterans National Memorial Shrine and Museum has added another tribute to its property.

Veteran leaders and family of fallen Northeast Indiana soldiers helped unveil the new Gold Star Families monument on the shrine's grounds Saturday afternoon.

Gold Star families read out the names of their loved one and placed golden flowers at the base of the new monument.

Veterans released doves, played taps, and fired a 21-gun salute to honor the memories of local soldiers.

The structure came together in part thanks to the Woody Williams Foundation, which works to celebrate Gold Star Families across the country.

"His legacy and his quote is, ‘The cause is greater than I,’" said foundation co-chair Matt Careins. "It’s not about Tiffany [Careins] and myself. It’s more about those families that are dealing with the loss of their loved ones every single day."

The two-sided black granite monument features four panels, each dedicated to different aspects of military service: Homeland, Family, Patriot and Sacrifice.

One Gold Star Family who publically spoke to the audience at the unveiling ceremony remembered their son Marine Cpl. David Grames Sanchez.

"I felt a lot of emotions coming back. I felt tears of joy, pride, some sorrow, but I know that there’s nothing that I can give him that he doesn’t already have," said the soldier's father David Grames.

The Grames family hopes this monument will provide a place to heal for other families who are faced with similar loss.

"I hope this gives them a place to come and reflect and think about not the sorrow, but they joy they had [with] whoever they lost in their lives," Grames said.