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Pritzker Military Foundation announces gifts to two memorial foundations

Sep 08 2023
Karolyn Raphael | Daily Herald

The Pritzker Military Foundation announce commitments to support the Woody Williams Foundation and National Infantry Museum memorial monuments. The Woody Williams Foundation has been awarded $222,500 with the possibility of an additional $50,000 via a challenge grant. The National Infantry Museum Foundation will receive $15,000 for their 2023 rededication of the Global War on Terrorism memorial.

"We are proud to support the Woody Williams Foundation and National Infantry Museum in their efforts to honor the brave patriots who dedicated their lives to our nation. Preserving the legacies of service members is paramount to providing a place of remembrance and creating a space for citizens to gain a better understanding of past events that shape so much of our lives today," said Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), founder of the Pritzker Military Foundation.

The Woody Williams Foundation pursues specific endeavors and goals through the vision of World War II Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams. The Foundation honors service members who have received a Gold Star designation, which recognizes service members who died while serving their country. The Woody Williams Foundation encourages, with the assistance of the American public and community leaders, 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.

The Pritzker Military Foundation's gift to the Woody Williams Foundation will support the creation of a traveling Gold Star Families Memorial Monument (GSFMM) with educational components that will provide a meaningful experience to those communities without access to a permanent GSFMM, as well as volunteer training and the creation of a reference manual.

"Through the support provided by the Pritzker Military Foundation, our organization has been empowered to build a unique network of services and information which will be accessible to all Gold Star Families and the general public," said CEO and President of the Woody Williams Foundation, Chad Graham. "This partnership has facilitated the growth of our programming to now include a service area spanning all 50 states and Guam with over 200 communities actively involved in the mission. Through our collective efforts, we will continue to strengthen our communities, honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, connect Gold Star Families to vital resources, and educate the general public about the sacrifices which have been made for our freedom."

The Pritzker Military Foundation also donated $15,000 to the National Infantry Museum's Global War on Terrorism Memorial Rededication. The Global War on Terrorism began on Sept. 11, 2001; Over 7000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines have given their lives in defense of the nation. To honor their sacrifice, the National Infantry Museum created the Global War on Terrorism Memorial on October 16, 2017. The memorial includes granite panels engraved with the names of all service members who have given their lives in the conflict, narrative panels explaining the conflict, and murals with artwork from each service. It also includes a 13-foot steel beam from World Trade Center Tower One that was presented to Fort Benning by NYC Firefighters, and nine bronze statues representing an Infantry squad. The memorial is rededicated each year to add the names of recently fallen individuals. The next rededication will take place on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023.