Oct 28 2021
Lauren Walike | ABC10
ROSEVILLE, Calif. — The Woody Williams Foundation will debut a new Gold Star memorial monument at the Roseville Cemetery on Berry Street. It'll be part of a celebration planned for Oct. 30 at 11 a.m.
Gold Star families in Roseville, who have a loved one that died in service, reached out to the foundation to bring a monument to the city.
"It was near and dear to their hearts that they wanted to bring one of the Gold Star families memorial monuments to their local town, in their city and so it all started a little over a year ago and now we're here," Alex Nauert, the director of programs for the Woody Williams Foundation told ABC10.
Nauert said people honor those who have died in service, but sometimes the families of service members can be forgotten.
"Gold Star families also are sacrificing and so by us being able to just give a little bit back to them and bring the awareness and education to the communities around the nation — around the world for that matter, about these families is the main reason that the Woody Williams Foundation exists, and that's why we are who we are today is to ensure that those families are never forgotten," Nauert said.
The monument has four panels on the back including a homeland, family, patriot and sacrifice panel. Wherever a monument is placed, people are able to choose images for each panel to make it unique for each community.
"To have unique, different perspectives from each community on these panels, it makes it kind of feel a little bit more like home to those individuals and for those families to come and actually say, 'hey, this is this, this mine is for us,'" Nauert said.
A service member himself, Nauert said he is speaking at the celebration on Saturday and is very excited to see the finished monument in person.
"For me to be able to work with these committees and these teams from day one and walking them in every step of the way and ensuring that everything is done perfectly," Nauert said. "I mean for us, me especially, it has to be perfect for these families. I don't accept anything less because that's what they deserve."
The foundation doesn't share photos of the monument before the families see it, so they are among the first to experience it, according to Nauert.
Nauert said the cost of the monument can vary depending on the location and the fluctuating price of granite, but the entire monument including the landscaping and construction costs comes to about $80,000-$100,000, which is paid for by fundraising efforts.
Roseville's monument marks the 89th monument the Woody Williams Foundation has installed across the country, including a U.S. territory, Guam. Nauert said there are 79 others currently in progress.