May 27 2023
Marcel Francis | Naperville Community Television
The Naperville Gold Star Family Memorial Monument Committee unveiled its Memorial Monument on Saturday afternoon in Veterans Park ahead of Memorial Day. The Monument honors local families of servicemen and women who gave their lives while serving in the United States Military.
“These dedications are always moving, they come with speeches that share emotions and symbolism to remind us of our past, our future, and where we stand today as Americans, They come with the purpose of sharing and togetherness designed to remember and honor families that continue to endure the loss of a loved one while in the service of their country. At this time, there are 126 monuments installed and 78 more in progress across 50 states and one territory,” said Woody Williams, Medal of Honor Foundation Representative Mike King.
Jennifer Slown, a Marine Corps Veteran and honorary board member for the Gold Star Memorial Monument, Woody Williams Foundation, has spearheaded the making of the Gold Star Memorial Monument with fellow Marine Corps Veteran Lew Breese for almost four years.
Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments are made of granite and are two-sided tributes as one reads, “Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives who sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.”
The other side of the Monument has four words ingrained in the granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice, with a silhouette of a saluting service member, representing “the Legacy of the Loved Ones who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our Freedom.”
“Memorial Day is the one day a year when the nation stands with us, the Gold Stars, and honors and remembers the price that was paid. Everything we are a people, everything you have is because someone else bought and paid for it with their life,” said the President of the American Gold Star Mothers INC. Denise Williams.
Notable donors who made the Monument possible include the Naperville Freemasons, Naperville Responds for Veterans, the American Legion Riders, the City of Naperville SECA Fund, and the Naperville Park District.
“The biggest fear of a Gold Star family is that their loved one will be forgotten. With this Monument, you insure us their loss will always be remembered and will be honored, and that you are a part of us, you are a part of our Gold Star family,” said Williams.
For more information about the Naperville Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, visit the Woody Williams Foundation at www.woodywilliams.org.