CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – United States flags and West Virginia state flags will be lowered across the Mountain State effective immediately to honor the life and legacy of Medal of Honor recipient and World War II Veteran Hershel “Woody” Williams, who died Wednesday, June 29 at the age of 98.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice ordered that the flags on all state own facilities will be displayed at half-staff through sunset on Monday, July 4.
Woody was known across the state and the nation not only for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps, but for his enduring service and support to his fellow veterans, service members and their families.
Woody joined the United States Marine Corps and served in the Battle of Iwo Jima with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division. He received the Medal of Honor on October 5, 1945, from President Harry S. Truman for his “actions, commitment to his fellow service members, and heroism,” the Woody Williams Foundation website says.
During his semi-daily press briefing on Thursday, June 30, Governor Justice reflected on Woody’s life, calling it an honor to have known him.
“What this man did on the level of bravery was of the chart. I mean, how many of us could even have approached that level of courage?” Justice said remembering Woody. “Then what did he do? He spent a life for our Gold Star families. He spent a life going all across this nation doing work like you can’t imagine. He spoke with the most eloquent style. It was so amazing to listen to him – a man 90-plus years old who could get up and speak far, far better than most any of us could on any day. You know, he was blessed. He had an incredible life.”
Governor Justice says he has also nominated Woody to be the first-ever inductee into West Virginia Military Hall of Fame.
“He was absolutely, without question, a true American hero.”WV Gov. Jim Justice
Justice says he has sent the nomination to the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, and the West Virginia Veterans Council will meet today to vote on the nomination.
The West Virginia State Legislature passed legislation earlier this year establishing the Hall of Fame to honor and recognize West Virginia veterans who went above and beyond the call of duty on the battlefield and continued serve their country and communities after they returned home.