Dedication held for Fairmont Armed Forces Reserve Center
October 18, 2012 ·
The Armed Forces Reserve Center in Fairmont was officially dedicated Thursday. The facility is named in honor of WV Marine Hershel “Woody” Williams. Williams fought at Iwo Jima during World War II. He’s very humbled by the honor.
The dedication ceremony brought scores of veterans and members of the community to the center.
The Hershel “Woody” Williams Fairmont Armed Forces Reserve Center will be the home to the 901st Medical Detachment of the United States Army Reserve, as well as the 1st Battalion, 201st Field Artillery of the West Virginia Army National Guard.
It’s a $25 million project that’s taken years to complete, but it’s nearly done.
Woody Williams, who received the Medal of Honor for his service, fought back tears at multiple times during the ceremony.
"I of course have known that this was going to happen for several months, and I thought I was totally prepared for it, because I did realize that my emotions were going to be stirred and difficult to control and they are. But to receive this kind of reception and this kind of an honor is far beyond what I expected. I thought there would be a few people here; I never dreamed there would be this many folks here," Williams said.
"I haven’t been able to control my emotions because of the great gratitude I have for what people are doing."
Williams talked to the press with his young great-grandson standing next to him.
Williams says he’s been greatly blessed to have a family, to have survived war, and to be honored with the National Medal of Honor.
He was given it by late President Harry S. Truman.
Williams says he was shaking when he met the President, but he said being recommended for that award by his fellow Marines, was even more special.
"It makes me very proud and yet very humble to think that my fellow marines, who were there that day, as I was, would think me worthy, of what I did, to recommend me for this highest award," Williams said.
But Williams says he didn’t feel he deserved it.
He wears that medal however, around his neck.
He says he wears it for the Marines who died around him at Iwo Jima, and not for anything he has done. But to the audience at the dedication, Williams was very much deserving.
The audience gave him several standing ovations during the dedication.