After years of planning -- and fundraising -- a monument to honor fallen soldiers and their families is one step closer to calling Southeast Idaho home. It's the Idaho Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in the North Gate development area in Pocatello. 

Volunteers helped with the final landscaping at the Idaho Gold Star Families Memorial Monument Friday morning. The monument will then be dedicated on May 28, 2021. While the landscaping will now be complete, the final pieces of the monument will be placed in early May and will not be unveiled until the dedication.

"I cannot tell you how excited I am!" exclaims Project Chairperson Rebecca Webb. "I am absolutely thrilled."

Webb has put thousands of hours into making this project a reality over the last couple of years. She explains, "It's so important that we all know that freedom isn't free. It comes with a cost and (now) we have a place where we can honor and remember those who've given their all for our freedoms in service to our country, and also to remember their families."

These monuments are popping up across the country. The goal is to have one in every state to honor all gold star families in their home states.

Webb is a gold star mom herself. A few years ago her son gave his all for the country. Since then she's been working to get this monument to Pocatello to honor the sacrifice of her son and other Idaho gold star families. "I hope that this will give them so peace and healing," she adds. "I know it's been very healing for me just to work on the monument project; and just the incredible generosity of this community and people across the state."

It really is a combination of Webb's hard work and the community's generosity that has built this monument. From the land, to labor, to monetary donations it's a project of love for all involved. "To be honest," says Webb, "I'm in awe and I'm humbled. We are surrounded by good people."

Webb says they have raised around 90 to 95 percent of their goal for the monument. If you'd like to donate there are a couple different ways.

One way to donate is online at https://idahogoldstarmemorial.com/.

You can also donate by sending money to the monument project at P.O. Box 4031, Pocatello, ID 83201. If you send a check, make it out to H.W.W.M.O.H.F. (Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation). In the memo line be sure to write Idaho to indicate which location you are donating to.

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