HOUSTON (CW39) — For two years, the Vietnam Combat Veterans Association of Houston has collected money and worked on plans for a memorial to all of the service men and women from the greater Houston area who died in that conflict.

On Wednesday, they broke ground on the Vietnam Fallen Warriors Monument at Veterans Memorial Park off Tidwell Road near the Hardy Toll Road.

“It’s education about what happened over there,” project manager E.A. “Buddy” Grantham said of the memorial. “It’s to honor those who gave their lives over there from this area and to help with that closure for veterans to go visit it.”

Mayor Sylvester Turner was among the guests scheduled to speak at the ceremony that was set to begin at 10:30 a.m.

One of the goals of the project was to recognize the sacrifices made by Vietnam vets — many of whom were greeted with hatred when they returned from the war.

“The way Vietnam veterans were treated when they came home — I think that starts the foundation of it,” Grantham said. “So many of these service members never had closure.”

The monument will consist of a 13-ton obelisk that will include imagery such as a map of Vietnam.

It will be partially surrounded by a semicircle of monoliths listing the names of the 544 men and women who died during the Vietnam War from Harris, Waller, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Liberty, and Galveston counties.

Project leaders hope to officially reveal the monument on Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day.