Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of World War II Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams.

As a U.S. Marine Corps corporal, Woody’s conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Iwo Jima earned him the highest military honor for valor – the Medal of Honor. He regularly visited Freedoms Foundation’s campus and inspired hundreds of teachers with his first-person accounts of heroism and sacrifice during World War II.

“A genuine all-American hero, Woody Williams was also a faithful friend of Freedoms Foundation, a fan favorite with teachers attending our graduate seminars, and the kindest man on the planet since Fred Rogers,” said FFVF CEO David Harmer. “Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed into his late 90s, he retained a buoyant vigor, a masterful sense of comic timing, and an unmatched capacity to make everyone who met him feel like his new best friend. We miss him terribly, but we thank God for the blessing of associating with him. What a good man!”

“Woody Williams came to our campus in 2014 to dedicate the Gold Star Families Memorial, the second in the nation after that in Woody’s home state of West Virginia,” said FFVF COO Jason L.S. Raia. “That visit kindled a wonderful relationship, with Woody returning to FFVF again and again to speak with teachers as part of our Medal of Honor Legacy professional development seminars. He shared from a deep well of personal experience – from his youth, from World War II, and from his many years as a living American hero. He was a true patriot who loved his country, loved speaking to teachers, and loved inspiring children. We will miss his stories, but most of all we will miss his indomitable spirit, humor, and joy.”

Woody’s 2018 Freedoms Foundation Medal of Honor remarks can be viewed here:

More information on Woody can be found in this Associated Press article.

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