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Honors: Hershel “Woody” Williams deserves Medal of Freedom

Jul 24 2020
Parkersburg News and Sentinel

West Virginian Hershel “Woody” Williams should receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That seems clear to many of his fellow Mountaineers.

Awareness of Williams’ accomplishments is growing, however.

Now, many members of Ohio’s congressional delegation are urging President Donald Trump to present the honor to Williams. Among those signing a letter to that effect were U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, and Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

Williams is one of just two World War II Medal of Honor winners still among us (the other is Tennessean Charles Coolidge). Williams won his medal for gallantry at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

There is more to him, however. He is leading a nationwide campaign to honor Gold Star Families who sacrificed loved ones in the military with monuments, including a few right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

In promoting the development of those sites, Williams reminded us, “Every community, really of any size, (has) Gold Star families in them, going back to when we first became a nation.”

Williams has been keen on honoring those who served, even in the sacrifice of a loved one. Meanwhile, the Ohioans’ letter sums Williams up, noting that “he never stopped serving.”

Make the presentation, Mr. President.