A new monument honoring Gold Star families was unveiled Sept. 24 at Antelope Park in Lincoln. The monument is a gift to Nebraska in its Sesquicentennial year, honoring all families who have lost loved ones in the U.S. Armed Forces in the past 150 years.

Hershel “Woody” Williams, who is helping to make these monuments possible, is the last living Medal of Honor recipient from the battle at Iwo Jima. His foundation’s mission is to have a Gold Star families memorial monument in every state. The Nebraska monument is the 23rd dedicated.

The event featured Retired Major General Roger Lempke as master of ceremonies. Speakers included Williams, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, Nebraska Gold Star Mothers President Pat Mracek and Nebraska Gold Star Wives-Omaha Chapter President Martha Didamo. The colors were presented by American Legion Post #3, and the Army National Guard Band provided the music.

“No one has sacrificed more for Nebraska in the past 150 years than our fallen military,” said Barbara Bartle, president of the Lincoln Community Foundation. “This monument is a beautiful tribute to honor the Gold Star families who continue to endure their loss.”

The Nebraska Gold Star families memorial monument was funded by Lincoln Community Foundation, Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, the City of Lincoln, Clark Enersen Partners, Nebraska Gold Star Wives-Omaha Chapter, Rixstine Recognition and Sampson Construction Co.

Learn more at lcf.org.

About Lincoln Community Foundation

The Lincoln Community Foundation, established in 1955, strives to continually enrich the Lincoln community by promoting and achieving perpetual philanthropic support. The foundation has distributed more than $112 million in grants to nonprofit agencies and organizations that have improved the lives of thousands of residents. For more information, visit lcf.org.

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