A road at Cecil Field was dedicated to prisoners of war and military members missing in action on Tuesday.
The unveiling of POW-MIA Memorial Parkway marked the start of efforts on a memorial to the service members in Jacksonville.
Plans for the 26-acre museum represent a promise to families of more than 80,000 military members who haven’t returned home.
Memorial board member Buddy Harris has been an advocate in the search for missing service members since his close friend, Navy pilot Scott Speicher, was killed in the Iraq War.
Speicher’s remains weren’t recovered until nearly two decades later.
“Everyone thinks … leave no stone unturned, they’re going to come get you and they’re doing to find you. I found out that wasn’t necessarily the case,” Harris said.
According to Harris, there’s been a shift in efforts to recover service members more quickly.
He said this museum will be a place for family members to reflect until their loved ones are returned.
“They need a place to see that he’s not forgotten or that she’s not forgotten,” Harris said.
The memorial’s completion is expected in five years.