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Gold Star Families Monument Will Be at Courthouse

A number of Marshall County residents in the past couple of weeks received letters pertaining to a Marshall County Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, while others will be receiving the same letters in the near future. The letter explains the monument and the need for money to undertake this project.

Some 10 1/2 months ago, Moundsville resident Delbert Chrislip, a U.S. Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, was challenged by Hershel “Woody” Williams to spearhead a group of Marshall County residents to place a Gold Star Memorial Monument in the county to honor the families of those who had a relative who perished in military service. Williams, a West Virginian, won the Medal of Honor during World War II.

Chrislip took up Williams’ challenge and joined with co-chairman Gary Rider in the endeavor. Others involved from the outset included Gold Star families Cathy and David Hammond (Gold Star Family) and Shelly Guthrie (Gold Star Family. Don and Rose Shilling, also a Gold Star Family, recently joined the committee.

One of the first undertakings of the committee was to find a site for the monument .

Committee members were in agreement that the ideal location would be the Veterans Monument Plaza on the Marshall County Courthouse where five granite monuments and six small monuments are located.

Members of the Gold Star Family Memorial Monument committee approached the county commissioners and were given approval to construct the monument, which will be 7 feet in height and 13 feet long.

The new monument will be at the south end of the plaza where there is sufficient space so that none of the smaller monuments would have to be moved.

Now back to the monetary issue for the new monument. According to Rider, the cost will be $55,000.

Although no fundraiser has been undertaken up until now, the good news is that $16,000 in donations has already been received for the project.

Tentative plans are for a groundbreaking to take place during Memorial Day Weekend, and hopefully the dedication will take place near Veterans Day.

Rider expects Williams to be present at both events.

As to, Williams, 95, he was a Medal of Honor recipient for heroism during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima and has been throughout the United States on behalf of the monument effort.

One side will bear the words “Gold Star Families Memorial Monument”— a tribute to Gold Star Families and relatives who have sacrificed a loved one for our freedom.

The other side will tell the story about homeland, family, patriotism and sacrifice.

The center of the monument will feature the most distinctive feature of the monument — a cut-out which represents the loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifices in the name of freedom.

There is a Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, a non-profit charitable foundation that was established in 2010. It has undertaken “Gold Star Families Memorial Monument”projects being construed throughout the United States.

The foundation mission is the vision of Williams.

The mission is to honor Gold Star families by building Gold Star monuments in all 50 states, offering scholarships to Gold Star children, sponsoring outreach programs and events and educating communities about Gold Star families and their sacrifices.

The local group is a not-for-profit organization, and anyone wishing to donate toward the monument can send their check to Gary Rider at the Moundsville Public Library, 700 Fifth St., Moundsville, 26041, and it will be forwarded to the foundation.

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Eleven Marshall County polling places will be part of mergers. They are:

Precinct 1 and Precinct 44 will now be known as Precinct 44 (Central Elementary School). Precinct 1 formerly voted at the courthouse. The courthouse will remain as the site for early voting.

Precinct 6 and Precinct 7 will now be known as Precinct 7 (Calvary United Methodist Church). Precinct 6 formerly voted at the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Precinct 14 and Precinct 13 will now be known as Precinct 13 (Glen Dale Elementary School). Precinct 14 formerly voted at the Glen Dale Fireman’s Hall.

Precincts 20, 23 and 25 will now be known as Precinct 25 (Kubeck Housing). Precinct 25 previously voted at the Kubeck site, while Precinct 20 was at the Benwood City Building, and Precinct 23 voted at St. John’s Church.

Precincts 26, 28 and 30 will be combined and will vote at Center McMechen Elementary School. These three precincts formerly voted at the McMechen VFD Community Center.

Precinct 19 has moved from the Boggs Run Volunteer Fire Department to St. John’s Fellowship Hall in Benwood.

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By the way, if you plan on making any changes in your voting data, you will have until May 12 to do at the at the Marshall County Clerk’s Office.

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The annual Lupe Hewitt Daddy/Daughter event will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday at the Training Center within the walls of the former West Virginia Penitentiary. The event will be sponsored by the city of Moundsville Park and Recreation Board.

The disc jockey will be Donnie Gilbert.

Monday is the final day to obtain tickets, which can be purchased at the Four Seasons Pool.

Tickets are $20 per daddy/daughter, while the cost for additional daughters is $5 each.

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Attended the most recent meeting of the Moundsville High School Alumni Association. Eleven MHS graduates were in attendance.

The committee is in process of planning what has been called for the last two events, “Homecoming Celebration Labor Day Weekend.”

The celebrations are held every five years, with this year’s event being the 10th.

The three-day get-together will pretty much be as the same as previous years.

There will be a Homecoming Parade on Sept. 4, with a hospitality room that evening at the Training Center within the Walls of the former West Virginia Penitentiary.

Several classes will be holding get-togethers of their own on Saturday morning, and also, that day there will be a sports luncheon during the afternoon of Sept. 5, and that evening there will be a dinner at the WVP.

On the afternoon of Sept. 6, there will be a family picnic at the WVP, followed by a Vesper service.

The committee is expecting some 400 alumni to attend the Saturday night dinner, this being 76 less than five years ago.

Moundsville High School closed its doors in July 1968.

The first MHS Alumni Association event took place in 1975. In the initial publication pertaining to the reunion, it was noted that 8,170 individuals graduated from the school which opened in 1877.

From the first event a newspaper article stated that there would be a picnic at the then-new Grand Vue Park. By the way, Grand Vue Park will be 48 years old this year.

The next alumni meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the First Presbyterian Church in Moundsville.

This year’s chairman is Lexie Hankett.

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A free 60-minute film titled, “Jamestown’s Dark Winter,” will be shown at 7 p.m.. Thursday at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville.

The film deals with archaeologists finding the ancient remains of a young woman buried in a trash layer of a cellar. A picture emerges of how brutal life in the new colony could become. With the help of forensic anthropologists, the extraordinary and grim story of this young woman who lived 400 years ago is brought to light.

The film is part of the Secrets of the Dead series aired on PBS.

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The Marshall County Board of Health will meet at 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 12 at the Health Department, 601 Sixth Street, Moundsville.

All individuals or delegations wishing to address the Board of Health should contact the Health Department Administrator Thomas Cook to be placed on the agenda.

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Seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinics are being held on Mondays from 9-11 a.m., and from 1-4 p.m. at the health department. Seasonal flu shots are being offered for anyone 6 months of age and older.

Off-site flu clinics for businesses and organizations are available by appointment. Call 304-845-7840.

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