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Walling designates ARPA funds to planned Gold Star memorial

Apr 26 2023
The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON — Huntington City Council District 4 representative Sarah Walling has distributed a portion of her designation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Woody Williams Foundation for enhancements to Memorial Park in Huntington’s Southside neighborhood.

On Tuesday, Walling presented a check for $20,000 to representatives of the foundation that will go toward the construction of a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to pay tribute to the families and relatives of fallen service members. The monument will be located near the Veterans Memorial Arch at Memorial Park.

“The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument will enhance our cherished park system and provide a place for Gold Star families, community members and visitors to Huntington to gather, reflect and honor our loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom,” Walling said in a news release. “I challenge other Huntington business and community leaders to recognize and serve our Gold Star families by collectively matching this contribution from my ARPA allocation.”

In May 2022, Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient, prepared a written request that a monument honoring the families of those whose loved ones died during military service be built at Memorial Park opposite from the Veterans Memorial Arch. Williams intended to present the request to the Huntington City Council, the Cabell County Commission and the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District, but his health soon failed and he passed away on June 29, 2022, at the age of 98.