Despite the drizzling rain, dozens turn out for the groundbreaking ceremony at the new Veterans Memorial Park in Alexandria.

It was an emotional ceremony for Russ Oorlog, a Vietnam veteran who served in the United States Army. Oorlog, vice president of the park committee, along with many other veterans in the area, have been working tirelessly to get the Veterans Memorial Park up and running in Alexandria.

After the ceremony, Oorlog said what he experienced during the war is hard to talk about and that "This is why I'm doing what I'm doing" when it comes to the park and having a place to honor area veterans. Oorlog said the process to make the park become a reality has been about a year and a half. And, he said, he appreciates all the support the committee has received along the way.

Construction will begin on Monday and is under the direction of Larry Puls, the project manager who served in the United States Marines. Oorlog said the park is expected to be completed next July and that on July 4, 2020, a dedication ceremony complete with big military parade is being planned.

For more information, visit the Veterans Memorial Park website at