Several Navarro County community members and dignitaries turned out Saturday for the ceremonial ground breaking of a new monument to honor the sacrifice of Gold Star Families.
“The monument will be focal point for honoring the families of the men and women who gave their lives serving this country.” said H.M. Davenport, Navarro County Judge.
The Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation seeks to have a Gold Star Monument in every state. Currently there are 42 states represented and a total of 57 monuments have been dedicated, with another 63 monuments in progress.
Texas is home to over a million veterans. Four communities across the state have already dedicated Gold Star Family monuments, with another six monuments in development.
Navarro County’s will be the first in the nation to have the monument placed on the county courthouse grounds. Both Davenport and Bill McNutt, co-founder of the Texas Veterans Parade, praised the project and the proposed site location of the recently renovated courthouse.
“Navarro County’s unique history and patriotism is a perfect match,” McNutt said.
The monument will be made from black granite and stand six foot at its highest point and will taper down covering an approximate 16 feet in length. Davenport said he expects the dedication to take place in May of 2020.
Dawn O’Brian Williamson, a Navarro County Gold Star Mother, believes that this monument will bridge the gap between the community and Gold Star Families.
Williamson’s son William gave his life in Iraq in 2008.
“For the most part, Gold Star Families suffer in silence,” she said. “Our community has a long history of soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice soon there will an addition to these monuments, recognition that with each name of our fallen a family was drastically changed.”
Texas State Senator Brian Birdwell also spoke at the ceremonial groundbreaking.
“It isn’t just those who put on the uniform that volunteer,” he said.
Williams, a 96-year-old Marine, received the Medal of Honor for his action above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
“I hope that these monuments will show the respect to those who gave their life and to the families of those who sacrificed.” Williams said.