WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — If you visit the Lycoming County Veterans Memorial in Williamsport, you will find a tank, stone carvings dedicated to major wars, and a new monument.
Crews spent all morning erecting a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at the park.
"A Gold Star family by definition is a family who has lost a loved one through combat overseas," said Ken Feese, chairman of the Central Pennsylvania Gold Star Committee.
The park serves to honor all the men and women from Lycoming County who served in the military. But the Gold Star monument aims to honor families like the Howards. Their son died while stationed in Afghanistan in 2010.
"The honor to bring this monument to this county is just so humbling," said Bart Howard, a Gold Star father.
"To recognize their sacrifice and give the family members a place to be remembered and to come and reflect, mourn, and heal," said Feese.
The Central Pennsylvania Gold Star Committee said they began fundraising for the $75,000 monument last year. They told Newswatch 16 that they raised nearly $100,000.
"How honored and humbled we are about the generosity that has been given and shown to us is unprecedented," said Howard.
The monument highlights four different categories of any Gold Star family. Homeland, family, patriot, and sacrifice.
"You know, this isn't just for our son. It is for all those names engraved on the monuments," said Constance Howard, a Gold Star mother.
According to officials of the park, a ceremony for the Gold Star monument will be held this upcoming Memorial Day.
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