Veterans from every war showed up at Downtown Bakersfield Tuesday with their shovels to break ground on the new veteran's memorial that will be built in central Bakersfield.
It's the start of what has been a long process to honor America's fallen veterans.
"This is exciting," said Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy. "A lot of people never thought this would come to fruition."
Veterans hope the new memorial will bring attention to the cost of freedom, not just on independence Day, but every day of the year.
"Having a place to come and contemplate is a healthy thing," said Ret. Chaplain George Fraser from the Army Reserve.
"They fight wars, they keep us free, and that's why they should have a memorial," said veteran and actor Charles Napier.
Napier was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
"It's about freedom," he said. "It's about what a lot of us don't really appreciate, and I work in foreign countries and I kiss the ground every time I get back here."
The memorial will be located on Truxtun Avenue and S Street in central Bakersfield.