Mark Jeffries had been waiting for this day for a long time. His cousin was killed in Vietnam in 1968. He never knew him, but he told me he remembers his aunt's tears. He wrote a heartfelt letter to the Moving Vietnam Memorial Wall people and last December he found out they'd bring it Labor Day weekend.
It arrived Thursday and we were out there before the sun came up Friday morning. The wall (half the size of the one in Washington, DC) was beautifully lit up in a field off 3500 Century Drive in Granite City.
Mark met us out there and told us how people started showing up in the middle of the night asking how and why it was here. He also says some people wanted to find the names of specific people. They have a book that helps lead you to specific names on the wall. He says people, including him, have already shed tears at the wall.
I was interested in finding the name of Randy Dalton, the soldier from Collinsville whose remains just made it home last month, 40 years after he died serving in Vietnam. I found it and it's in the slide show associated with this blog.
You can visit the wall any time between now and Monday night.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He will read your comments to this blog.