CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Woody Williams is the first member of the West Virginia Military Hall of Fame.
Gov. Jim Justice nominated Williams Thursday, a day after his death, and the West Virginia Veterans Council met later in the day and unanimously chose Williams for the honor.
“Woody Williams was a man whose life was extraordinary beyond belief. Not only was his bravery on the battlefield unmatched, but he spent a lifetime going all across America as a tireless advocate for Veterans,” Justice said. “He was a wonderful friend to so many and a true American hero to all of us. His induction as the first member of this Hall of Fame is an incredibly fitting tribute to his lifetime of service.”
Williams, who was the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient, died at the Woody Williams VA Hospital in Huntington early Wednesday morning. He was 98.
Justice said state capitol services for Williams Saturday and Sunday will attempt to match all that he did for so many. Justice said he made that promise to the Williams family and others recently.
“Prior to his death we told all the people there we would conduct the celebration of his life in the biggest way the state could possibly offer,” Justice said.
The body will be transported from Huntington to Charleston in a processional Saturday morning beginning at 8 a.m. The public viewing Saturday goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The body will then be moved to the state Culture Center at the Capitol Complex for funeral services set to start at 4 p.m. Sunday.
The West Virginia Military Hall of Fame was created earlier this year by the state legislature. Its purpose is to “honor those Veterans from West Virginia who went above and beyond the call of duty on the battlefield and who continued to distinguish themselves in service after their return to the state, contributing significantly to West Virginia or the Veteran community.”
All state flags at state-owned facilities are flying at half-staff through July. 4.