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Missouri's first 'Gold Star' memorial dedicated at College of the Ozarks

Apr. 19, 2017 

Claudette Riley | Springfield News-Leader

In Patriots Park at the entrance of the College of the Ozarks campus, a new memorial was dedicated Wednesday to honor Missourians and others who have lost an immediate family member during military service.

Organizers said the Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial, the first of its kind in the state, was created to preserve the memory of the fallen and stand as a stark reminder that freedom comes at a hefty price.

"We are honored to provide this memorial for those who have lost loved ones in service to our country," said College of the Ozarks President Jerry Davis, in a release. "They made a huge sacrifice for our freedom and should be properly recognized. We can never replace lost loved ones but we can honor their memories and these families who have given so much."

There are two sides to the black granite monument. One side has the inscription: "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 four granite panels — Homeland, Family, Patriot and Sacrifice.

Gov. Eric Greitens, a combat veteran in Afghanistan and Iraq, was the keynote speaker for the event.