Apr 01 2023
the Olympian staff | Yahoo News
Local leaders and local Gold Star military families on Friday helped unveil a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at the Lacey Civic Plaza on Sleater Kinney Road.
The monument, made possible through the Woody Williams Foundation and the Gold Star Memorial Foundation Lacey, honors service members who died as a result of their service, on and off the battlefield, and their families.
Lacey City Council member Michael Steadman was part of the committee that helped raise funds to make the monument possible.
“Lacey is a military community and deserves a dedicated place for family members to gather, share stories and remember their loved ones,” Steadman said in a statement issued by Veterans Rites about the memorial. “For generations to come, this will be a place for residents across Thurston County and the state to visit and acknowledge the sacrifices our service members and Gold Star families made – and continue to make – to keep us safe.”
Gold Star families expressed gratitude for the creation of a sacred space where their loved ones can be remembered.
“On behalf of the hundreds of Gold Star families in the community, I want to thank the Woody Williams Foundation for all their support and leadership in creating sacred spaces for those of us who lost a family member as a result of serving their country,” said Kamber Good, who lost her husband due to chemical exposure during his years of service in the Iraq War. She also served on the committee that organized the monument fundraising effort.
Good pointed out that the suicide rate among military veterans in the region is very high. “Those wounds, even though they aren’t visible, need to be recognized and the Gold Star families left behind need a special place to celebrate their lives and connect with others facing the same emotional journey.”
The Woody Williams Foundation is a charitable 501c(3) organization that pursues specific endeavors and goals through the vision of Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams. The foundation encourages establishing permanent Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in communities throughout the United States, conducting Gold Star Families Outreach across the country, and providing Living Legacy scholarships to eligible Gold Star Family members.
Following the memorial’s unveiling, there was an evening gala and fundraiser at the Lacey Community Center. Residents can purchase bricks with their name or the name of their fallen family member that will be placed at the monument site. For more information on the Gold Star Families Memorial in Lacey, visit the website.