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Monument unveiled in Jeffersontown to honor Gold Star Families

Sep 25 2022
Jamie Mayes | WLKY

JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. — A monument in Jeffersontown now serves as a reminder of the military who died while serving their country and the families they left behind.

“You get this gold star. Nobody wants it. Nobody wants to join this group, but this gold star represents the ultimate sacrifice,” said Lynn Romans, mother of Sgt. Darrin Potter.

On Sunday, a monument was unveiled during a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park.

“All soldiers will tell you that the one thing they don't want to happen is to be forgotten once they have died. However, many people forget there's a family behind that soldier that may have died, so one of our goals is to make sure the families of those soldiers are not forgotten either,” said Mike King, Woody Williams Foundation secretary of operations.

Lynn Romans is ensuring her son’s life is remembered. Potter served in the Kentucky Army National Guard. After 9/11, he was sent to Iraq. He died in September 2003. He was 24 years old.

“I like to say I raised a hero, and he was doing what was asked of him. He was serving his country,” Romans said.

To honor fallen military members like Potter, city leaders reached out to the Woody Williams Foundation for a monument for Gold Star Families.

Corporal Hershel W. “Woody” Williams was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He started the foundation to establish memorials for fallen soldiers and their families.

There are now more than 100 Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments throughout the country.

“I implore you to come by, say a prayer, and say thank you to all those families who have given their sacrifice because for them that loved one will never come home,” said Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf.

More than 70 other monuments are in the process of being built in 50 states and one U.S. territory.