PRESS RELEASE GOLD STAR MONUMENT DEDICATION CEREMONY MEDAL OF HONOR BANQUET CORSICANA, TEXAS
Monday, November 23, at 4:15 P.M. -The Texas Veterans Parade, The Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, in conjunction with the Bill McNutt Family Fund, are extremely proud to dedicate the Navarro County Gold Star Family Memorial in Corsicana, Texas on Monday November 23, 2020 followed by the Medal of Honor Banquet at the Corsicana Country Club. The public is welcome at both events, as are Gold Star Families from across the Lone Star State.
A Gold Star Family is one who has lost a family member in combat or military service.
The dedication ceremony will begin November 23, at 4:15 P.M. on the historic Navarro County, Texas Courthouse lawn. The featured speaker for the dedication will be the last living Medal of Honor recipient from the Pacific Theatre in World War II, Mr. Hershel “Woody” Williams.
75 years ago, on Iwo Jima, U.S. Marine Corporal Hershel "Woody" Williams watched the American Flag being raised on Mt. Suribachi before accepted the challenge of opening a lane for infantry and tanks through a network of Japanese reinforced-concrete pillboxes. With four fellow Marines providing covering fire, he went forward alone with a 70-pound flamethrower and took out seven pillboxes, killing the enemy in each. For this action, President Harry Truman presented him with the Medal of Honor in October 1945 at the White House.
Today Corporal Williams has a new challenge. He is determined to build a monument to Gold Star Families, in all 50 states. In large and patriotic states like Texas, he plans to have more than one monument. Williams always wondered why families who lost loved ones in battle or military service did not regularly receive public recognition for their sacrifices. Seven years ago, his organization began identifying worthy places across America to do just that. Corsicana, because of its unique and long military history, was choose from many applications.
"We are blessed to a hero of Iwo Jima, Woody Williams come to our county and our courthouse,” said H.M. Davenport, Navarro County Judge. "We know the veterans community and history buffs from all over Texas will want to share this unique time with one of the last living heroes from World War II."
"Navarro County has a rich and unique military history going back to the Texas Revolution,” said Woody Williams. Navarro County had 33 servicemen lose their lives in World War II, 22 men killed in the Korean War, 19 killed in the Vietnam War, and 1 in the War on terror. "This beautiful and unique 15,000 pound black granite monument sends a message to the families of those who have sacrificed a loved one in military service for us and our freedom. I have worked with Bill McNutt on other World War II Veterans initiatives. Bill is a true patriot and he convinced us that this central Texas community deserved to be selected."
"This is an evergreen monument,” said Bill McNutt, III Texas Veterans Parade Founder and Chair of the Bill McNutt Family Fund. "It will be a constant reminder to our youth that freedom is not free, and a place for families to gather who have placed so costly a sacrifice on the altar of freedom."
Following the dedication ceremony, there will be the 2nd annual Medal of Honor banquet at 6:30 P.M. at the Corsicana Country Club with special guest Hershel "Woody" Williams talking about the 36 day battle for Iwo Jima. For those who would like to attend the banquet, a few tickets are still available. Please contact Liz Brown at (903-879-7266).
Gold Star Families across Texas and Oklahoma are invited. They should contact the CEO of the Texas Veterans Parade, retired Navy Captain Joe Hill at 337 496 3615 to find out about special arrangements being made for them at the dedication and the banquet that follows.
Texas Veterans Organization Founded by Mr. Bill McNutt in 2017, it exists to Honor Texas Veterans from all wars and conflicts, and to educate children about their sacrifices, freedom and liberty.
The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument The purpose of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is to honor Gold Star Families, preserve the memory of the fallen, and stand as a stark reminder that Freedom is not free. This stunning black granite monument features two sides. One side bears the words: Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families. The other side tells a story through the four granite panels about Navarro County: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. The scenes on each panel are a reflection of Gold Star Families and their fallen Heroes. At the center of this tribute is the most distinct feature of the monument, the cut out which represents the Loved One who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Freedom.