Jun 15 2023
Sydney Jaxtheimer | 10 News
LEXINGTON, Va. – A memorial to remember and honor the families who lost a loved one in the line of duty.
That’s the purpose of Gold Star Family Memorials.
Lexington will soon be home to one, thanks to efforts by Jaden Keuhner.
10 News first introduced you to Keuhner in March, when he started spearheading the effort to bring a memorial to Lexington at Jordan’s Point Park.
In a record-breaking 89 days, Keunher met and surpassed his fundraising goal of $60,000.
“It feels so amazing that I have so many people backing the plan and the project. And I can rely on these people to help build something that is so important to the community,” he said.
Gold Star Family memorials honor those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty.
The Lexington memorial will honor two hometown heroes in particular, Chase Prasnicki and Andrew Ross, both were from Rockbridge County and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
“You know my son is gone, he’s not with us. He’s not here to necessarily receive the honor. But for us as a family to know the community cares enough,” Andrew Ross’ father, Stephen Ross said. “This initiative by the Keuhners and the other donors who have stepped up, it shows just how wholesome and patriotic the community is.”
The Woody Williams Foundation is the one behind the 127 Gold Star Family Memorials across the country.
This one in Lexington will be the fourth memorial in Virginia. Others are located in Chesapeake, Lovettsville, and Bedford.
“It’s more or less for those families and for them to have closure. And for us to be able to support them,” Woody Williams Foundation Director of Programs, Alex Nauert said.
Keuhner plans on having the Lexington memorial complete and a dedication ceremony on September 24, which is nationally recognized as Gold Star Family Day.
“Building these memorials and honoring these families is something really cool and special to me that I think we are able to help honor, not just one family but as many families as possible,” Keuhner said.