The City of McKinney held a ceremonial groundbreaking on Wednesday, October 19 at Veterans Memorial Park, 6053 Weiskopf Ave. for its first Texas Gold Star Memorial.

The Gold Star Families Memorial monument honors family members of military service members who lost their lives serving our country, preserves the memory of the fallen and stands as a stark reminder that freedom is not free. One side of the monument bears the verbiage: Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Mothers, Fathers, and Relatives who have sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom. The other side tells a story through the four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice.

The McKinney Gold Star Memorial will include scenes on each panel reflective of Texas and Collin County military service members who lost their lives serving our country and their families. At the center of the monument is the most distinct feature of the monument, a cut out representative of the fallen hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom

The Gold Star Memorial is funded in part by the McKinney Community Development Corporation and public donors, and is provided by the Herschel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation. The foundation’s goal is to place a Gold Star Memorial in each of the 50 states. The memorial is the first Gold Star Memorial constructed in Texas and is planned to be completed by Memorial Day 2017.

Special guest Herschel “Woody” Williams, the only living Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima, conducted the ceremonial groundbreaking with the support of local Gold Star family members.