John F. Kennedy Memorial Park
A Father's Love
It was here in Star City that John F. Kennedy announced his intention to enter the West Virginia primary as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. This decision was motivated by deep concerns within his party that a Roman Catholic could not be elected President. Kennedy's decisive victory in the heavily Protestant state allayed those doubts and proved instrumental in gaining him the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.
As Arthur Edson of the Associated Press wrote:
"If our political disputes are ever remembered as our battlefields are now, West Virginia will become a national shrine. For it was in West Virginia's beautiful mountains, in its thriving cities, in its impoverished coal fields that the decisive battle was fought that gave Senator John F. Kennedy the Democratic Presidential nomination."
Senator Kennedy was elected President in 1960. His presidency was short lived due to an assassin's bullet.
This memorial is dedicated to "A Father's Love", symbolized by the endearing image of John John's salute to his father's casket on the day of President Kennedy's funeral, November 25, 1963.
This memorial was made possible through the contributions of local individuals. The creators of this monument chose four special examples
to portray with President Kennedy, "A Father's Love." These four were complemented by dozens of individuals who chose their father, grandfather or grandmother to be remembered on this memorial.
Congressman Tip O'Neal (D-Massachusetts) suggested the idea of a monument in Star City, WV to Michael A. Oliverio, Sr. in the 1980's. It was then Mr. Oliverio spearheaded the effort to create this monument and inspire others to memorialize their fathers as well. This memorial was dedicated on June 17, 2007.
The following individuals helped make Mike Oliverio's dream of building this monument a reality: David DeCarlo, John Lynch, Robert Lynch, Allan Sharp, Billy Coffindaffer, Senator Mike Oliverio II, Senator Roman Prezioso, Chris Kroll, Bob Romah, Robert Lloyd, Carl Davis, Frank Oliverio & Michael Rowan
( plaque on left )
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
This monument is dedicated to our fathers and serves as a place of honor in appreciation for the love and guidance we have received from them. The fathers depicted above and President John F. Kennedy were the source of inspiration for this tribute.
"Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
July 25, 1963