OLATHE, Kan. — On Friday, the state of Kansas unveiled a statue to honor families who have lost loved ones in war. Dozens of families watched with gratitude as the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument was revealed.
They felt the dedication made a resounding statement that their loved ones who sacrificed everything for our freedom would never be forgotten.
“Well this… this will keep the memories alive,” one woman said Friday.
The monument is installed at Veterans Memorial Park in Olathe. The Woody Williams Foundation is named after Medal of Honor recipient Herschel Williams and responsible for these monuments.
There are 66 monuments installed and 75 in progress. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said she accepted Williams’ challenge to bring one to Kansas.
“When he challenged me here, it’s just one more challenge I plan to rise up to,” Kelly said.
Williams is one of two Medal of Honor recipients still living. He said this gives others a glimpse into what it is like to to be a Gold Star family.
“It lets the other people who have never had that sacrifice know what it means to lose a loved one in war,” Williams said.
He said that South Dakota and Montana are the last two states without a Gold Star family monument, but that will change soon.