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Monument set to be unveiled

Jan 23 2020
Megan Gray-Hatfield | The Gainesville Daily Register

The public is invited to attend Saturday’s unveiling and dedication ceremony of the Gainesville Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at Leonard Park, 1000 W. California St.

The 10 a.m. ceremony Saturday, Jan. 25, has been a long time coming, according to Cliff Yow, an honorary board member of the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation.

“We are looking forward to presenting it to the community and honoring our Gold Star Families,” Yow said of the project that has been “nearly two years in the making.”

Williams will be on hand to unveil the monument. Other guests expected to attend include State Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, and retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Archie Davis, Yow said.

Anyone planning on attending the ceremony is asked to park in the main lot of the park due to limited parking at the memorial.

Yow said vehicles from Outdoor Powersports will be on hand to shuttle attendees over to the dedication site.

Immediately following the ceremony, a lunch will be provided for all Gold Star families in attendance at Crossroads Baptist Church, 2201 W. California St, he said.

Members of the Gainesville City Council approved placement of a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at the park in December 2017.

Groundbreaking for the black granite monument honoring the families of servicemen and women killed while serving in the military was March 2018.

Yow said a number of circumstances led to the monument’s delay, while adding that the majority of it was “nonstop rain.”

“... For months we could not get the concrete pad poured,” he said.

Williams previously told the Register that he has made it his mission through the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation to have at least one monument in all 50 states.

The first Gold Star Families Memorial Monument was erected in West Virginia, and there are now 59 monuments completed in 45 states, according to Williams’ foundation website.