POINT PLEASANT — Today, West Virginia Day, a new feature of the city honoring mothers who have lost a child in the throws of war will be dedicated.
The Gold Star Mothers Monument memorial dedication ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. today (Thursday) on the Mason County Public Library’s grounds. The Gold Star Mothers organization, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) members, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) members, contributors, and the public are invited to attend this event. A full color guard will be present.
Ed Cromley, president of the Point Pleasant Chapter of the SAR/Memorial Committee member, explained during the ceremony various individuals will say a few words in honor of the monument. The library will be open for the day as well.
The turnout is expected to be rather large with over 100 RVSP’s already received. Cromley warns parking could be difficult and encourages those of able body to park across the street and leave the closer spots to the library’s grounds for those who are not of able body. He suggested drivers to drop off passengers near the library’s grounds if they are unable to park near the grounds.
Gold Star Mothers Monuments are memorials in honor of mothers who have lost a son or daughter while serving in the armed forces from the Revolutionary War to present day and the West Virginia Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution chose Point Pleasant as the site of one of these very special memorials. The monument has been built to face the Mason County Courthouse and will be visible from every direction coming into the city
The Mason County Commission donated the land for the memorial, Frank Beckner was contracted for the building of the structure, and Jamie Lester was commissioned by the West Virginia DAR to sculpt a large bronze memorial plaque depicting a Gold Star Mother holding the U.S. Flag close to her chest along with a written memorial.
The Memorial Committee had a goal to raise $6,000 to help fund this project and they exceeded that goal by over $2,000. Cromley explained with the extra funds an extra walk way was able to be added near the monument, so now there will be three walk ways. Also, the DAR members donated a reflection bench.
The support of this project is greatly appreciated by the Memorial Committee members and all donations that were given that were $500 or more, the donor(s) will have their name(s) engraved in a plaque that will be placed on the backside of the memorial, facing the entrance to the library.
In preparation of the ceremony, landscaping was done by FFA students from the Mason County Career Center and the Tu-Endie-Wei Garden Club members. The garden club members will be in charge of keeping the landscape around the monument maintained.
Cromley shared this has been great opportunity to work with the West Virginia DAR to bring such a significant monument to the area.
“Many mothers gave such a big part of their lives for us to live in the country we live in,” said Cromley.
The Gold Star Mothers is an organization originally formed in 1928 for the mothers who had lost a son or daughter while in service of the U.S. Armed Forces in World War I, but today has grown to now recognize all mothers from all U.S. wars. West Virginia soldiers have fought in every war beginning with the Revolutionary War, including present times, in which creating a large number of mothers in West Virginia to be honored. The Gold Star Monument project was inspired by West Virginia State Regent Malinda Davis as her “State Regents Project” during her administration from 2016-19. A Gold Star Mothers Memorial is a memorial in honor of mothers who have lost a son or daughter while serving in the armed forces from the Revolutionary War to present day.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.