BRYAN- Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Bryan Sunday for the groundbreaking ceremony for a Vietnam Veterans Memorial that will stand in front of the Clara Mounce Library.
Organizers say 50 people from the seven counties of the Brazos Valley died in Vietnam.
"Out of the 50, we found 47 of the families," said Kenneth Spencer, Chapter 937 of the Vietnam Veterans Association of America.
Those family members came from all over Texas to be a part of the ceremony for a new Brazos Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The names of the those who died will eventually be inscribed on the monument, but their families were able to participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking in the meantime.
"I'm here for my brother-in-law, William Toliver," said Deborah Toliver, a Bryan resident. "I'm here to make sure his memory will be preserved and let him know we haven't forgotten about him."
Nearly 300 people made a point of being there to honor those who paid the ultimate price.
"I just felt like I needed to be here being a member of this group and being a Vietnam Veteran," said Chuck Gross from Bryan.
People in attendance said seeing all the veterans and their families in one place was powerful.
"I felt kind of sad, I really did. And I was happy they were here to represent their families too, because we'll never forget about them. They'll always be in our hearts and our memories," said Toliver.
Like those memories, the Brazos Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial will soon become a permanent part of the community.