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Officials have added the Alabama Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial Park. CONTRIBUTED

Alabama Gold Star Families Memorial Monument now part of veterans park

HUNTSVILLE – An addition at Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial Park hopefully can offer solace to families who have lost a close relative who was serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The Memorial Monument for Alabama Gold Star Families arrived in downtown Huntsville on Sept 22 at the veterans park. The Patriot Guard Riders escorted the five-piece granite structure that the Bailey Granite company in Kentucky created.

The monument, the final installment at the Veterans Memorial Park, was placed on Sept. 23 as a fitting capstone that will be a tribute to families for those relatives who ‘gave all’ and paid the sacrifice to ensure freedom for American citizens. The Gold Star monument will remain covered until the dedication ceremony on Oct. 17 at 10 a.m.

Herschel ‘Woody’ Williams and the Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams Medal of Honor Foundation developed the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument project “to honor, recognize and serve Gold Star Families and the legacy of their loved ones who have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Jennifer Henken said. She works as Administrator for the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial.

Currently, 65 Gold Star monuments are in place across the United States. The monument in Huntsville will be the first one of its kind in the State of Alabama.

Monument Project Sponsors Mike and Christine Wicks with i3 – Integration, Innovation Inc. have been integral to the process of bringing the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to Alabama. “There’s nothing more important than supporting our Gold Star Families,” Mike Wicks said.

One side of the four-panel, black granite monument bears the words: “Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives.” The other side tells a story through panels entitled “Homeland,” “Family,” “Patriot” and “Sacrifice.” The center of the monument has a silhouette of the loved one who lost his or her life in the name of freedom, Henken said.

“Our definition of Gold Star Families, like most non-governmental organizations, is those families who have lost one or more loved ones while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” Henken said.

“We hope that all who have lost a Loved One on Active Duty, will find the Alabama Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to be a place of honor and reflection, a place to gather and remember,” Henken said.

The Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial was dedicated on Nov. 11, 2011, to pay tribute to all veterans and educate the public about local military history and the cost of freedom.

For more information, call 256-604-3896 or email adminperson@hmcvm.org. For specific details about the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument and to donate, visit hmcvm.org.

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