Jan 13 2020
Greg Jordan | Bluefield Daily Telegraph
PRINCETON — Contributions continue arriving for a monument which would honor the Mercer County families whose loved ones died while serving their country.
In June 2019, a committee started working to raise the $40,000 needed for a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument. The effort started when County Commissioner Bill Archer met Hershel “Woody” Williams, a World War II veteran and a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Williams received the medal in recognition of his actions during the 1944 Battle of Iwo Jima. Archer spoke to Williams during the 2019 Marine Corps League Mideast Division Conference near Princeton.
The fundraising effort is being helped by a major $30,000 matching grant pledge from an anonymous donor. Contributions for the monument project keep arriving, Archer said. For example, Grants Supermarket recently donated $1,000.
“So far, our effort to make the two for one match for $30,000 is going well,” he stated. “We’re up to $9,505.”
Fundraisers have been held during local football games. The amount of money raised at these events have ranged from as little as $12 to $200, Archer said.
The Gold Star Families Memorial will be erected on the Mercer County Courthouse campus, but its exact location has not been decided yet. Putting it on the site once occupied by the Clay Family statue was one possibility, but not decision has been made. Work to install a new ramp which will make the courthouse more compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations is still ongoing.
Many veterans and their families live in Mercer County, and the region has a strong tradition of serving in the military.
“We are blessed to live in an area where so many people have fought to preserve our freedom and our way of life,” Archer said. “And this monument will serve to honor all the families who have loved ones who died in service to our nation.”I see (the monument) as one of the most important things we can do,” Archer said.
To learn more about donating to the memorial project, contact Sharon Bowling at 304-809-7613 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Archer can be contacted at 304-921-0029 or email@example.com.