SPRINGFIELD – Of the 82 Marines who received the Medal of Honor for their bravery during World War II, only one remains – Hershel “Woody” Williams. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum joins the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in honoring Williams at a special event Dec. 3
Williams will talk to the presidential library’s oral historian, Dr. Mark DePue, about his experiences in the war and how he earned his medal during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Williams was honored for single-handedly attacking fortified Japanese positions with “unyielding determination” for four hours to halt machine gun fire against his troops.
His appearance benefits the foundation’s campaign to give rare Lincoln items a permanent home at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
“We are delighted to work with our colleagues at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to bring Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams to Springfield,” said Carla Knorowski, CEO of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. “His heroic service at the Battle of Iwo Jima is riveting and complements well the World War II exhibit now at the Museum.”
“We are grateful to Woody, who like hundreds upon hundreds of other generous individuals, is helping us raise funds to preserve and retain our irreplaceable collection of Lincolniana. The event is not to be missed,” Knorowski added.
At the “benefactor” level, tickets cost $1,000 and include dinner and cocktails with Williams, a reception at the presidential museum at 6:30 p.m., reserved seating for his 7:15 discussion with DePue and a personal photo with Williams.
Tickets at the “supporter” level cost $200 and include the museum reception and general seating for the DePue and Williams discussion.
“I’m excited about interviewing Mr. Williams and a bit humbled as well,” DePue said. “Of the hundreds of veterans I’ve interviewed over the years, he will be the first Medal of Honor recipient.”
All tickets offer a charitable deduction to the extent allowed by law. Visit www.PresidentLincoln.illinois.gov and click on “Special Event Reservations” to purchase tickets.
The foundation purchased a huge array of Lincoln artifacts and documents in 2007 on behalf of the presidential library and museum. They include the gloves he carried to the theater on the night of his assassination, his presidential seal and hundreds of other items. The foundation and the presidential library are working together to raise the remaining funds required to pay for this collection and keep it at the ALPLM.
The presidential library and museum uses a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship to immerse visitors in the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.
For more information, visit www.PresidentLincoln.illinois.gov. You can follow the ALPLM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.