PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - The first panels went up on Saturday at Missouri's National Veterans Memorial (MNVM) in Perryville, Missouri on Saturday.
The new memorial is the only exact replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
Robinson Construction is the general contractor on the project. They are helped by Brewer Monument and Baston Monument with installing the panels.
NFL Hall of Famer Jackie Smith volunteers his time in helping out with the MNVM and wanted to be there to watch the panels go up.
"It's really the pinnacle of a lot of work that's going around here just to make this happen," Smith said. "It gives you a lot of anticipation of what this is going to be when it's up. Just to see these few panels that are up right now is really exciting. It just changes the whole flavor and the whole expectation of this project."
Missouri's National Veterans Memorial President Don Fulford has seen the many stages of America's Vietnam Wall come together.
He is excited to see the panels go up as well.
"We are proud of our many veterans and proud of this small way we can recognize all of them for their bravery and service," Fulford said.
We interviewed Fulford during the groundbreaking event of the MNVM just over a year ago. He feels it's come a long way since that day on March 29, 2017.
"It's a great step for Perry County as a community but also for the United States because this wall will mark accessibility for our Veterans to come to a special place and meet with other fellow Veterans and reflect, pray, and look back on their service to our country," Fulford said at the groundbreaking.
The wall will have all the nearly 60,000 names on it as it stands at the Vietnam Veterans Wall in D.C.
Smith feels honored to be a part of this historic wall being built and wants to make sure it is known that all soldiers to be remembered and honored.
"It's an honor for me to be asked to be a part of it," Smith said. "It's an honor for all of us to be a part of it. To be able to do a little small thing to these men and women know how much they are appreciated and of course, it's symbolic for our country for sure."
For more information about the MNVM Park, go to their website here.