CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Major progress is being made in an effort to honor military veterans in West Virginia, according to project leaders.

West Virginia has the highest rate of military service per capita in the nation, and this new memorial will be another way to honor that.

The Mason Country Veterans Memorial Committee says it has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars to build a new memorial park. The goal is a $500,000, and people can still contribute through the Mason County Veterans Memorial page on Facebook.

Committee members say the memorial is to honor all Mason County veterans, including those killed in action and those who received the Medal of Honor.

A ground breaking ceremony for the memorial will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 at Wahama High School in Mason, West Virginia. Organizers say one goal is to make the memorial educational, especially for young people.

“Well it’s like any memorial. It’s an educational piece that people can come and visit. They can learn about their family. They can learn about the sacrifices made by these veterans. And it’s tremendous,” said Steve Halstead, president of the Mason County Veterans Memorial Committee.

Building a war memorial in Mason County had the full support of the late Woody Williams. The West Virginia native who died in June, 2022, was the final World War II Medal of Honor recipient in the nation. When finished, the memorial will be next to the Bridge of Honor in the town of Mason.

The memorial will also include a sculpture of Staff Sergeant Jimmy Stewart, a Mason County soldier killed in the Vietnam War. For his bravery, he received the Medal of Honor posthumously.