Oct 12 2022
Jessica Patterson | WOWK TV
HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Friends and family of the late Woody Williams, WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, are launching a project to make one of the war hero’s final wishes come true.
At a Memorial Day ceremony in May 2022, believed to be one of Woody’s last public appearances, he told his friends he wished to have a Gold Star Families memorial monument built in Huntington’s Southside. According to the Southside Alliance Monument Committee, Woody had already personally chosen a location for the monument to be placed prior to his passing.
The monument will be located on the opposite end of the lawn from the Memorial Arch at Memorial Boulevard and 11th Street West, according to the Southside Alliance Monument Committee.
“I have a lot of respect for all branches of the military,” said Dan Ferguson, chair of the Southside Alliance Committee. “They keep us safe. They defend our country. And when one loses their life during conflict, they need to be honored. And these monuments honor those individuals and show respect to their families.”
Wednesday, Woody’s friends and family, along with the Southside Alliance Committee and the Woody Williams Foundation, gathered at the location to launch a fundraising effort for the project.
Gold Star Families monuments stand in every state in our nation, ensuring families who’ve lost loved ones fighting for our nation have a special place to go.
“He said ‘I’d like to have one down by the Arch,'” Ferguson said of Williams. “That could very well have been the last event he attended, and it could be his last request, so we need to make this happen.”
While he was alive, Woody made it his mission to remember those who didn’t make it home from Iwo Jima during WWII, including the brave men who died protecting him during his own courageous efforts that earned him a Medal of Honor.
Woody, who passed away June 29, 2022, was the last surviving WWII Medal of Honor recipient.
Those who wish to make a donation toward the monument can contact the Southside Alliance Monument Committee at 304-544-9191.
Donation checks must list “Woody Williams Foundation” as the payee, and must have “Huntington Monument” in the purpose line.