Montpelier, Vermont - November 9, 2010
Marion Gray exudes a sense of relief and excitement when she looks at the artist's renderings that on Thursday will be a reality.
"I sometimes pinch myself because I just, I've worked with it for so long, it's kind of hard to believe it really is going to happen," she said.
On Veteran's Day, Gray will be at the unveiling of the Vermont memorial to the Global War on Terrorism at the Randolph Veteran's Cemetery. Designed and carved by Vermonters, the project was born out of heartbreak.
Gray's son Jamie was killed in Iraq in 2004.
She joined with other families who have lost loved ones in the war to build a memorial in their honor.
"None of us had ever done anything like that," she said.
It was not always easy. The idea of building a memorial to a war that hasn't ended was unheard of. But the families did not want to wait.
"The families just, they wanted to see this done now as opposed to maybe being gone by the time this war ends, no one knows when it's gonna come to an end," Gray said.
Perhaps the best kept secret in the state-- the memorial was completed three weeks ago. Gray was there to see the final piece lowered into place.
"To finally be able to see it all together for the first time was pretty moving," she said.
Forty names are currently etched in the top of the memorial-- the 40 Vermonters who have died in the war that started September 11, 2001.
"We want to make sure they will never be forgotten," Gray said.
The unveiling of that memorial will happen Thursday at 11 a.m.
Copyright 2010: Bianca Slota - WCAX News