A promise made and a promise kept is how Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial became a reality. The memorial opened in 2019 in southeast Missouri’s Perryville. It is the only full-sized replica of the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Director Rae Lynn Munoz explained the promise made by Missouri Vietnam War veteran Jim Eddleman.

“Well, it all started in the Tet Offensive so many years ago, when Mr. Eddleman was in his teen years. He made a promise while serving in Vietnam to his fellow service members. If he made it home, he would do something to honor their sacrifice,” Munoz told Missourinet.

Eddleman is one of the founding members of the memorial.

More than 58,000 names of fallen U.S. military soldiers are etched into a granite wall lined with American flags.

“I can go all day long and tell you about our amazing exhibits,” Munoz said. “I can tell you what it means those 58,000 reasons to come that are etched in granite. I can tell you about the Battlefield Cross and how I can collate service members I’ve lost. But until you step foot on this campus, until you see that Garrison flag flying, or one of the 70 over the Vietnam wall you won’t truly understand.”

The memorial also includes a military museum, monuments, and statues.

“We try to honor our heroes for everything,” said Munoz. “And this is just a little piece in the heartland that gives you a reprise from the city noise. It gives you time to reflect.”

On the night of July 4th, the wall will be lit in red, white, and blue.

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