PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - The Missouri's National Veteran's Memorial started construction on Wednesday in Perry County, Missouri.
The new memorial is going to be an exact replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
Crews from Robinson construction, Wibbenmeyer Concreters and Duane Ernst Construction were on site working on footings of the first building going up.
After that will be the foundation of the building.
The granite is in Georgia already polished and cut. It will be transported next week before engravings of the names begin. The wall will be placed on the northwest side of the nearly 70 acres they are building on.
The wall will include the names of the roughly 60,000 men and women service members who lost their lives fighting for our country.
Missouri's National Veterans Memorial President Michael Lundy said he is happy to see work being started and has worked over four years of planning to get to this point.
"They've been working for the last month or so doing the grading work and getting the ground prepared for construction," Lundy said. "We're really excited about today because today we actually see people out here getting ready to build a memorial and the building that will go along with it."
Lundy said the crews working this project he feels very fortunate in knowing and working with on this project. Lundy said they have more invested in this project because so many Veterans are close to their hearts.
Duane Ernst, Duane Ernst Construction Company here, he's helping out with this. His brother was one of the four people that were killed during the Vietnam War from Perry County," Lundy added. "These people are here to make this project come to life because they want to do it from their hearts."
Lundy said everything here will be the way it is in Washington, D.C.
"We are actually going to put an exact replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Memorial," Lundy said. "We're working real closely with them in Washington D.C. to make sure this is exactly the same experience here."
Lundy stresses this Veteran's Wall is not just for Perry County, Mo.
"This is a project for the Midwest for all our Veterans. We're starting off now with a tribute to the Vietnam Veterans but what we really want to do is expand that so what we can do is pay honor to every Veteran that ever served in our country."
A flag ceremony will take place on September 16, at 11 a.m. at the site on Highway AC in Perry County.
Lundy said a new flag will be bought for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The current flag there will be driven across the states to the Perry County site to be raised with the help of the American Legion Riders.
Lundy expects for the wall to be complete and to have a full service to honor the Veterans by Memorial Day in 2018.