Remembering all those who sacrifice

Gold Star families deserve our thanks and recognition

When a member of our armed forces dies while serving our nation, the impact on that hero’s entire family is great. The sacrifice that has taken place goes well beyond the contribution of the service member. It is really an entire family that has been called upon to help our nation in wartime.

That’s why a new monument honoring families who have lost a loved one in a time of combat has been added to Veterans Memorial Park, which is located on the northwest corner of Badger Lake in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

“You don’t just send one person off to battle,” said Terry Moehnke, who chaired the effort to add this monument to the park. “It’s the whole family. A lot of sleepless nights. A lot of worrying. This is a way to honor those left behind after the sacrifices are made.”

The monument, which is made of black granite, is about 15 feet across. It features a gold star on one side. Text on that side reads, “A tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives who sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.” The other side depicts images of homeland, family, patriotism and sacrifice. A quote from Gen. George S. Patton is displayed. It reads, “It is foolish to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

Financial support for this worthy undertaking came from the Veterans Council, Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma and private contributions to Veterans Memorial Park. The cost of this project is estimated to be $50,000.

According to Moehnke, more than 350 families in Webster County have lost someone who served in the U.S. military.

The Messenger applauds this superb effort to recognize families who make this ultimate sacrifice. Sadly, their ranks will continue to grow in the years ahead. This monument will serve as a reminder to all of us that they have made exceptional contributions on behalf of free people everywhere.