CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — On Friday, just a day before Veterans Day, a new memorial was unveiled in Clarksburg’s Veterans Memorial Park.

The memorial was a long-awaited project, approximately 10 years in the making according to Friends of Clarksburg Parks Foundation president, Mark Audia.

Originally, the project was initiated by the Freedom Foundation with funding secured through the state. Though, after several years and attempts to raise funding, the Freedom Foundation shifted gears and provided the Friends of Clarksburg Parks Foundation with the funding already acquired for the memorial.

“When we first started this project, it was drawings on napkins and we sat down as a board and with Mountain Memorial who was our contractor for this, just kicking ideas back and forth. Some of the sketches came back, we were very excited and then when we started getting pictures of the stone as it was being fabricated down in Georgia, we got even more excited. We started seeing it being put together this week, it’s just beyond our expectations and it’s something I hope the area would really appreciate, take care of and remember the true reason behind it,” said Audia.

The first placement idea for the veterans memorial was on the top of the park’s hill closer to the hospital, though Friends of Clarksburg Parks Foundation wanted the memorial to be closer to more frequent public access.

Now the memorial sits near the entrance of the Veterans Memorial Park and across from the Freedom Shelter pavilion and the Clarksburg Splash Zone.

“We can never forget, you know, we should never forget what was done. The men and women that have fought so hard for us as United States to live the way we live, have what we have. You know it’s the least we can do is try to remember them,” said Audia.

Friends of Clarksburg Parks Foundation stated its next project will be to add benches along the trails of both the Veterans Memorial Park in Clarksburg and the City Park in Nutter Fort.