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Gold Star Families have a place to heal in Monroe County

Apr 8 2022
Colin Roose | WTRF

Beallsville, Ohio (WTRF) – It’s a life of pride, honor, sacrifice and years of perseverance, all signified by a single star.

The loved ones of fallen military members now have a place to heal in Monroe County, as a Gold Star family monument was unveiled in Beallsville.

It all started with Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams’ grandson, who ran into a county commissioner.

And he was telling me this story about his grandfather, and how he has this dream of getting a Gold Star family monument in every state in the union.

Mick Schumacher, Monroe County Commissioner

That sparked a years-long project to create a place to bring closure for those who gave everything for the American Dream. And that place is now a reality—a black granite fixture, displaying the values these veterans fought for next to an outline of a soldier. Williams along with two other World War II vets were present at today’s dedication at American Legion Post 768. The Committee Chairman called it remarkable to be in their presence.

That’s our greatest generation.

David Wiles, Commander of American Legion Post 768

David Wiles says the Gold Star monument isn’t just for the community that lost so much—it’s for everyone who drives by and feels that they have some respects to pay.

It’s going to be emotionally overwhelming for some people, and I’m happy that we’ve done this, I’m very ecstatic that we’ve done this for the families.

David Wiles, Commander of American Legion Post 768

The turnout for the dedication was truly something to see. Schools and families packed into the small field to hear from local officials, state representatives and the vets themselves. The Lieutenant Governor was among them, and says it’s something that makes small-town Ohio stand out.

The culture in rural Ohio is one that really celebrates that sacrifice, that values our freedoms.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, (R) -Ohio

The ceremony began with clouds, which quickly turned into a rainstorm—something Commissioner Schumacher believes symbolizes the memorial itself.

I think that rain today was a healing rain.

Mick Schumacher, Monroe County Commissioner

A rain to wash away the decades-old pain and remember the heroism that will last forever.