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Veterans: R.I. Gold Star Families Memorial dedication on May 15

Apr 23 2022
Dora Vasquez-Hellner | The Westerly Sun

The Rhode Island Gold Star Families Memorial Monument Committee, in conjunction with the Woody Williams Foundation and Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, is proud to announce details for the dedication of the Rhode Island Gold Star Families Memorial Monument. The dedication ceremony and unveiling of the memorial monument will take place on May 15 at 2 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 301 South County Trail, Exeter.

A Gold Star family is one who has sacrificed a loved one while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. The title is meant to honor the service member’s ultimate sacrifice while enduring their family’s loss, grief and continued healing.

All Gold Star families, and the public, are invited to attend the dedication ceremony. Speakers will include Daniel McKee, governor of Rhode Island, and Sabina Matos, lieutenant governor of Rhode Island.

The memorial monument is made of black granite and features two sides. One side bears the words “Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives who sacrificed Loved Ones for our Freedom.” The other side tells a story of Rhode Island’s Gold Star families and their fallen heroes through scenes on four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. At the center of this tribute is the most distinct feature of the monument, the cut-out which represents the loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.

The Woody Williams Foundation is a nonprofit organization co-founded by Hershel “Woody” Williams, a World War II veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima, and today’s only living Medal of Honor Recipient from World War II. Woody was inspired to honor and recognize these families after delivering many telegrams notifying families of the death of the loved one while in service to our country. His vision for each memorial is to provide a place of permanence for Gold Star Families and the public to gather in honor and recognition of the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom and to ensure that we never forget.

For more information about the Rhode Island Gold Star Families Memorial Monument or to donate, visit

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