Jan 10 2020
Bea Cabrera | Saipan Tribune
A monument to honor service members from the Pacific who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military is being planned in Agana in Guam.
According to Tim Ohno, retired U.S. Army major and project coordinator, the idea is for a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to be built in Adelup (Gov. Rick Bordallo Complex) in Agana. A group of volunteers composed of veterans, Gold Star Families and surviving family members of the fallen are working on this project.
He said the level of sacrifice from the families of the Pacific Region has been significant. “…these island nations and territories have the highest per capita rate of recruits enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces than all of the 50 states and 14 territories. …As such, these island states also have the highest per capita rate of casualties,” he said.
He cited the Federated States of Micronesia, which has a population of 105,000 and has lost over 10 of their sons and daughter while Guam, the CNMI, Palau and the Marshall Islands “all have numerous Gold Star Families whose loved ones have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he added.
Ohno said the volunteers originally worked with a Gold Star Family since April last year. “This family…have since lost interest and the non-profit organization was dissolved. We had other groups of veterans who have come together to…bring this project back to life and we are honored that the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation has allowed us to work closely with them on this.”
“We are planning a groundbreaking set for March…where Mr. Hershel Woody Williams will be joining us. Williams is a Medal of Honor recipient who also is a Guam liberator. He is 96 years young but still full of energy,” he added.
The volunteers have also been working with other Gold Star Families throughout Guam, the CNMI, Federated State of Micronesia, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Guam Veteran Affairs, and the Joint Region Marianas headquarters.
The plan is, after the groundbreaking in March, the new monument would be unveiled in September 2020. The help of potential donors and sponsor are now being sought, with an eye toward raising $250,000.
“…A minimum contribution of $200 will have the donor’s name (if they so desire) inscribed on a brick that will be incorporated into the overall monument layout,” Ohno said. “…We’re also looking for companies who can possibly contribute in-kind donations for building supplies and materials. All granite work will be coming from a company in Kentucky. The bronze work may also come from Seattle or the Philippines, depending on cost,’ he added.
Ohno said the group of volunteers are committed to seeing the project through. “…the memorial…is a tribute to all the Gold Star Families and relatives as a reminder to us all that they have sacrificed a loved one for our freedom,” he added.
Checks or money order donations can be sent to the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, ATTN: Pacific Islands Regional Gold Star Families Memorial Monument 12123 Shelbyville Road, Suite 100 Louisville, KY 40243 or visit www.hwwwmohf.org.
For more information contact Ohno at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (671) 682-6340.