When people are faced with trials, a good community can make all the difference. The building of the Gold Star Family Memorial Monument in Pocatello is the perfect example of how community can bring support and hope to those in the midst of hardship.
Gold Star Families is an official organization that recognizes the sacrifice made by family members of fallen soldiers. More than anything, Gold Star seeks to honor and promote hope and healing to the families that have experienced a military loss. This is often done through conferences, monetary aid, and memorial monuments.
Surprised by the absence of a Gold Star Mothers chapter in Idaho, local Gold Star Mother Rebecca Webb decided to take action and start one here.
“We find healing by helping others. If we can lift up others and we can give back to others, it helps bring healing to others and it also brings healing to ourselves,” she explained about the Gold Star organization. “We serve because our sons and daughters can no longer serve.”
Webb and other Gold Star family members began to meet many loved ones of fallen soldiers in our state and saw the need for hope and healing. As the chapter has slowly but surely grown, the community has come together to promote healing and remembrance for veterans, wounded service people, and of course, military and Gold Star families.
From this mentality, the notion of building a memorial monument caught on.
What started as a simple idea has grown into a great community effort to create something meaningful and lasting. Thanks to local help and donations, the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is being built by Walker Monument with direction of a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument committee. This monument will serve families across the entire state; all Idaho counties will be represented with a star.
“It is just a wonderful thing for us to be able to be involved in a veteran project like this where people can really remember that veterans matter,” Spencer Pond, General Manager of the Walker Monument said. “These [people] are out there every day and they work hard and put their lives on the line. And in many cases, like this monument is for, they lose their lives in defense of freedom for our country.”
Pond also described the physical look of the monument. “The monument itself is made out of black granite. It is the best thing to make monuments out of. That black granite is just so pure and so beautiful,” he said.
The front side of the monument will feature a tribute to the families, while the back will be personalized to the community.
Not only will the monument serve the local area, but it will also act as an important place of remembrance for all Idahoans. Gold Star families from across the state are patiently waiting for the monument’s dedication to witness the support that both the local and state community have for our service people and their families.
While the finished monument itself is meant to provide a place for remembrance and healing, the process of building it has somehow had the same effect on many involved.
Loss has a strange way of bringing people together, and it has surely done so for our community as we work together to serve the people who have sacrificed their lives and for their families who have lost loved ones.