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Gold Star Families Monument to be added

Apr 02 2022
Elizabeth Slay | Shawnee News Star

Construction began last week on the Gold Star Families Monument being added to the Oklahoma Veterans Memorial at Woodland Veterans Park in downtown Shawnee.

According to Albert Brase, Oklahoma Veterans Memorial Committee member, the monument is to honor the families who have lost veteran family members in war.

“The Gold Star Families Monument commemorates the families of the 7,568 names on the Oklahoma Veterans Memorial Wall for their sacrifice,” Brase said.

The overall cost of the monument is $48,000.

“We have raised $32,000. We need $36,000 for the concrete and lighting,” Brase said.

He explained the monument will have a front side and a back side with details to symbolize various aspects of Gold Star Families.

“The Woody Williams Foundation provides the front side,” Brase said.

“The Oklahoma Veterans Memorial Committee provides the backside.”

According to the Foundation’s Mission Statement, the organization is “a charitable 501 c3 nonprofit organization that pursues the vision of Medal of Honor recipient Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams to establish Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in communities throughout the country.”

The Foundation also seeks to provide other educational and opportunities to Gold Star Children and Families through various programs.

Each side of the monument has various panels with different items representing the Gold Star Families and their loved ones lost in a war, Brase said.

His explanation of the back side of the monument begins with the left end panel.

“The first panel has a rising sun behind the state of Oklahoma. The first panel represents a beginning, sunrise and starting life,” he said. “The second panel represents the families watching young sons and daughters serving our country.”

Brase explained the third panel represents the patriotic service of the families’ sons and daughters and the fourth panel represents the sacrifice the Gold Star Families made.

Both the Committee and the Foundation are accepting any donations to help fund the completion of the monument, which they hope to finish by May.

For more information, call Shawnee Parks Services at (405) 273-1960 and to donate, checks can be made payable to the Shawnee Community Foundation (501c3) and submit them to P.O. Box 1447 Shawnee, OK 74802.