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At Ceremony, College of the Ozarks Breaks Ground on Gold Star Families Memorial

Submitted Photo
College of the Ozarks
Participants for College of the Ozarks groundbreaking today at Veterans Plaza.

Officials at College of the Ozarks broke ground Thursday on a memorial dedicated to Missouri’s Gold Star Families. The memorial on the college campus is the first in the state of Missouri, according to C of O.

The school said in a news release that more than 500 guests attended the ceremony, including Gold Star Families, veterans and state representatives. C of O also welcomed World War II Veterans who served in Iwo Jima; Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, chancellor of the University of Richmond, and Hershel Woody Williams, Medal of Honor recipient.

“Heroes are those who paid the final sacrifice with their life,” Williams said. “Those are the true heroes. This Monument pays tribute and honors the families of those who sacrificed one or more of their loved ones in the armed forces for our freedoms.”

The black granite monument will feature two sides. One includes text describing the monument, and the other features four panels that tells the story of Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice.

According to the school, the scenes on each panel are a reflection of each community’s Gold Star Families and their fallen heroes. At the center is a cutout that represents the loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.

“We are honored to provide this Memorial for those who have lost loved ones who have been killed in service to our country,” said College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis. “They made a huge sacrifice for our freedom and should be properly recognized. We can never replace lost loved ones, but we can honor their memories and these families who have given so much.”

Two C of O seniors are working to design the four panels. Katherine Yung is an art education major and Emma Carter is a studio art/graphic design major.