The Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation is a charitable 501c(3) nonprofit organization that pursues specific endeavors and goals through the vision of Medal of Honor recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams. The Foundation encourages, with the assistance of the American public and community leaders, establishing permanent Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in communities throughout the United States, conducting Gold Star Families Outreach across the country, providing Living Legacy scholarships to eligible Gold Star Children, and advocating for educational benefits for all Gold Star Family members.
The impact of the Foundation’s work helps to raise public awareness about Gold Star Families’ enduring sacrifice and the ultimate sacrifice made by their Loved Ones. The Foundation wishes to educate the community about these sacrifices, reminding us all that freedom has not been and is not free.
The goals of the Foundation include:
To honor, recognize, and serve Gold Star Families and the legacy of their Loved Ones who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The Foundation developed the mission and goals for honoring Gold Star Families based on five philosophical pillars representing Homeland, Family, Patriot, Sacrifice and Legacy. There were important to the fallen loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice, the families who continue to endure their sacrifice and the Legacy they have left behind. These pillars are so profound that they inspired the creation and model of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument as it is today.
The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is two sided. The front specifically honors Gold Star Families with the statement, “A Tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives Who Sacrificed a Loved One for Our Freedom”. The reverse of the monument shows the pillars and representative images for each. And, within the monument there is an open silhouette that represents the missing family member surrounded by the pillars and the legacy they left behind. The meaning and additional insights for each of these pillars are:
This pillar represents where we live. It is the people, it is our family, it is our Freedom.
This pillar represents the uniquely brave spirit of our Military families who provide support to their Loved Ones serving in our Armed Forces.
This pillar represents those who vigorously support and defend our great nation through selfless service in our Armed Forces.
This pillar represents the sacrifices made by our Gold Star Families.
This pillar represents the legacy of the Loved Ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
These pillars and concepts have been carefully selected and developed by the Foundation and are used today to direct the design for all Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments.