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The dedication of the Gold Star Family Monument at the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial is fast approaching. Last week, the monument was installed.

“Throughout this process, I’ve thought of this monument as the capstone of the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial, knowing it will very likely be the last monument placed,” Julie Kink, co-chair of the group which has worked to bring the monument to Huntsville, said. “It’s fitting that it’s placed near the end of the Patriot’s Walkway, in what’s often thought of as the ‘back’ of the Veterans Memorial.

“The losses experienced by us Gold Star families represent a conclusion of sorts, the greatest sacrifice that can ever be made, as a result of the courage and commitment that is embodied by all the other stunning statues and plaques in that Veterans Memorial.

“But what about approaching from the other side? Entering the Veterans Memorial from the ‘back’ side, if the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is the first thing one sees, it’s equally appropriate. All the honor, the freedom and the cherished ideals that are represented by everything in that park begin with families.”

The ceremony will be Oct. 17 at the Veterans Memorial located in downtown Huntsville at 200 Monroe St., beginning at 10 a.m.

A number of guests and speakers have already been confirmed for the event. They include Gen. Ed Daly, commander of the Army Materiel Command; Mac Love, Gold Star father of 1st Lt. Scott Love; Julie Kink, Gold Star sister of Warrant Officer David Kink; Annette Hall, Gold Star mother of Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Hall; and Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams.

For more information about the Gold Star Family Monument or the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial, visit www.hmcvm.org.

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