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Gold Star Families Memorial Monument dedicated at VA medical center in Ohio

The Cleveland Gold Star Families Memorial Monument was unveiled at a ceremony on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND VA MEDICAL CENTER/FACEBOOK

By LISA DEJONG | The Plain Dealer, Cleveland | Published: September 1, 2018

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Tribune News Service) — As the crowd looked up to see the U.S. Navy Blue Angels rumble overhead, it did not seem like a coincidence that the planes happened to be practicing for the Cleveland National Airshow this weekend.

The Blue Angels diamond-shaped formation seemed like a fitting tribute as people gathered to unveil the Cleveland Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland on Friday.

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The new monument, on the corner of East 105th Street and East Boulevard, honors families who have lost loved ones killed in military action.

Carved into the granite monument are the words "Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives who have sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom" on one side. The other side has four granite panels dedicated to homeland, family, patriotism and sacrifice.

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The Gold Star tradition started during World War I, when families hung out flags or banners with a blue star if a loved one was serving in the military. When a loved one was killed, the blue star was changed to gold.

The Cleveland Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is part of the project by Hershel "Woody" Williams to commission veterans monuments across the country. Williams, the last surviving Marine awarded a Medal of Honor during World War II, started the nonprofit Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation Inc. in 2013 to make his dream a reality. So far there are 39 dedicated monuments and 45 projects in progress.

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Medal of Honor recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams claps during a ceremony to unveil the Cleveland Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.
CLEVELAND VA MEDICAL CENTER/FACEBOOK

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