LEWISTON —The future of the Maine Gold Star Families Memorial, originally slated for unveiling on Memorial Day Weekend at Veterans Memorial Park, is in doubt.

Jerry Dewitt, the chairman of the L&A Veterans Council, the organization that oversees the park, said the national organization backing the memorial— the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation — has placed the project on hold.

One of the designs of a Gold Star families memorial. hwwhoffoundation.org

Dewitt also said the former head of the Maine Fallen Heroes Foundation Dean Barron is looking for a new location for the monument.

Maine Fallen Heroes was set up to support Gold Star families, those who have lost a family member serving in the armed forces in support of the country.

The president of the Woody Williams foundation, the organization that is overseeing the construction of more than 100 Gold Star monuments throughout the country, confirmed the delay and said funds raised locally would be transferred to the national organization. President Chad Graham said the transfer has already been approved.

“All funds raised to this point for the project are being transferred to us,” Graham said. “They happen in short time, but not instantly.”

“We feel confident that the money is on its way to us,” he added.

The amount transferred should be roughly $15,000. That includes nearly $10,000 as a down payment for the monument.

On Monday, Barron requested the company he authorized to build the monument to “destroy the check” written in October so the funds could be transferred to the national foundation.

Barron, the founder and former head of Maine Fallen Heroes, has said he was no longer associated with the group and resigned as president a few weeks ago.

But his involvement continues. Barron confirmed that in an angry response to Dewitt earlier this week, which said, ” I am and will continue to be the head of the committee that is responsible for erecting this one-of-a-kind memorial here in our state.”

Hershel Woody Williams, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient during the Battle of Iwo Jima, set up the national foundation to honor Gold Star families. He set a goal of placing a Gold Star memorial in all 50 states. To date, his  organization has dedicated 47 monuments and has another 54 in progress in 41 states.

The one in Lewiston is included in the monuments in progress. Williams, a 95-year-old veteran from West Virginia, attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Lewiston last October.

The future location of the monument, whether it remains in Lewiston or is built somewhere else, remains a mystery. The only thing certain is that the monument will not be ready by this Memorial Day as originally planned.

Adrienne Bennett, reportedly the new director of the Maine Fallen Heroes, has not returned phone calls or emails. The spokeswoman for former Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has not commented since Barron announced she was the new director of the group.

Despite the challenge of a national organization taking over the fundraising efforts for a local group, Graham hopes that everyone can move forward and unify around the group’s overall goal.

“Stay focused on our mission, which is to honor and recognize Gold Star families and the legacy of their loved ones that made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.