Curtis Tate Published

Resolution Would Place Statue Of Woody Williams In U.S. Capitol

A flag-draped casket lies in the center of a round marbled space, surrounded by Marines, elected leaders, guests, reporters and photographers.
Woody Williams lies in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda in July 2022.
Curtis Tate / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

War hero Hershel “Woody” Williams was honored at the U.S. Capitol following his death. Now, a statue of him could be on permanent display there.

The Senate Finance Committee approved a resolution Wednesday that will place a statue of Woody Williams in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.

His youngest grandson, Chad Graham, thanked the committee.

“We feel as a family this is such a tremendous honor and is something we were so humbled and excited to hear about,” Graham said.

Williams, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, died in 2022 at age 98.

Lawmakers from both parties and both chambers paid tribute to Williams in the Capitol rotunda.

If the legislature approves the resolution, a statue of Williams will replace that of John Kenna, a Confederate veteran who was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Kenna’s statue would then be moved to the Culture Center in Charleston.

Each state has two statues in Statuary Hall. West Virginia’s other notable figure is Francis Harrison Pierpont, a lawyer who became Virginia’s governor at the end of the Civil War.

The Woody Williams Foundation honors Gold Star families, those who have sacrificed loved ones in service to the country. 

Watch West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s tribute to Williams here.