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Gold Star memorial designed to honor families of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice

Oct 18 2021
Amanda Henderson | News 4 San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO - Sunday afternoon was an emotional day for Gold Star families as a new memorial was officially started.

“There’s a story behind every Gold Star. And behind every story, there’s a family, there's someone who has lost their life, there's someone who has paid that ultimate sacrifice,” said Gold Star mother Candy Martin.

It’s a sacrifice felt throughout Military City, USA. San Antonio and the surrounding areas have the largest number of Gold Star families nationwide.

“The whole purpose of this memorial is to honor families who have lost loved ones, to military service,” said Jeff Wells with Wish for our Heroes.

Wells said Sunday is a step forward for a year long project.

It first started when he met with the last surviving Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams, whose purpose is to honor Gold Star families.

“Woody, and he mentioned that these monuments that they build in different places. And I asked what he said, what do we need to do to build one here and he said, Go raise some money and talk to the city and do those things,” said Wells.

Now, that vision is becoming a reality of several gathered for an emotional groundbreaking at Veterans Memorial Plaza in downtown San Antonio.

“Just now several of the Gold Star moms came up to me and just broke down in tears,” said Wells.

One of those is Candy Martin who lost her son first Lieutenant Thomas Martin in Iraq in 2007.

“It is emotional,” said Martin.

She also approached Wells for help building the memorial in hopes it will bring some peace to families who have lost a loved one.

“It's estimated that we've had 1.4 million people who have lost their lives in service to our country since the beginning of the country and when you think about 1.4 million with loss of lives, that's 1.4 million families in that family there could be mother father, brother sister, husband, wife, child,” said Martin.

The memorial should take about four to five months to complete.