ELIZABETH, Colo. - In the town of Elizabeth, the community is honoring each of its veterans, brick by brick.
A year ago, the Elizabeth Veterans Memorial was only an idea in the minds of Bill Mansell, the son of a Korean War veteran, and Lance Homer, a Vietnam War veteran.
Today, the two men and fellow townspeople are building a pillar of bricks. Each engraved brick honors a veteran.
"Until we did this, started putting this memorial together here in Elizabeth, there was really not a place for people to come and honor their soldiers, their troops," Mansell told 7NEWS.
Around the pillar are posts engraved with the words, "Courage," "Honor," "Pride." In the air above the Eastern Plains setting, flags snap in the breeze -- the Unites States flag, the Colorado Flag and the flag for prisoners of war and those missing in action.
"It means a lot to me -- honor, pride, and something to go to our veterans that have fallen, and [those] still living. It's something we've needed for a long time," Homer said.
Both men were driven by powerful, personal remembrances to build the memorial.
"For me, I can go there and think about my dad, who was in the service. I have a brick of honor there for him," Mansell said.
Bill's dad, William Mansell Sr., served in the Navy during the Korean War on the USS McKean, a Gearing-class destroyer.
"There was a pilot who had been shot down up on the Russian border, up near Siberia," Bill Mansell Jr. recounted. "He told me this story of when they went up there, how terribly cold it was and the ice freezing to the ship. And they were able to rescue the pilot and bring him back."
"It was his way of going and serving for his country," Mansell said. "It means everything to me. It makes me proud."
Sitting at the memorial, Lance Homer said, "Been here quite a bit, purchased some of the flag poles."
Homer was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam war. He tried to enlist in the Air Force, but they accepted him too late. By then, he was already in the Army and on his way to Vietnam.
"I remember one fire-fight, that's the one where I was recommended for my Silver Star. We lost 19 men," said Homer, who served as a medic.
Lance was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action under heavy enemy fire with complete disregard for his own safety.
"I was going to and from and everywhere, doing what I could. A lot of them were dead, a lot were wounded, got them shipped out as fast as we could," he said.
"But it…I can still see their faces," Lance said.
It's important for Lance Homer to come here and remember.
"Thank God for all the men and women that served, and the men and women that died," he said. "I'm proud to be an American."
Homer hopes this memorial will be a testimony to future generations.
"Go look at the wall, look at the names, think about it, think where you would be without them," he said.
When Elizabeth's memorial is completed it will have 275 bricks, honoring 275 veterans. Each personalized brick is available for a $150 donation, which goes to support the memorial.
You can learn more about the memorial by calling 720-300-4927 or visiting http://evmf.webs.com