Honor, Remember, Give Thanks September 14-18
Visit Huntington Park September 14-18 to see “The Moving Wall,” a replica of Washington’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Though it is half the size of the Memorial Wall in D.C., the replica contains the 58,000 names of those who died or went missing in Vietnam between 1959 and 1975.
The portable wall was built by a Vietnam veteran who attended the 1982 dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and was so moved by the experience that he wanted to share the wall with those who may not have the opportunity to see it in the nation’s capital. Within two years, the replica was built and went on display for the first time in October 1984 in Tyler, Texas. Today, two structures of The Moving Wall travel the country between April and November, spending a little less than a week at each destination. The schedule of events planned for The Moving Wall’s visit to Newport News is as follows:
- Sept. 14 – The Moving Wall is escorted to Huntington Park at 9 a.m. by the American Legion Riders of American Legion Post #25 and other motorcycle clubs. Assembly will begin shortly thereafter.
- Sept. 15 – An opening ceremony takes place at noon. Citizens are invited to join dignitaries for the ceremony, which includes a flyover by the U.S. Air Force. At 6:30 p.m., a candlelight vigil begins at the Virginia War Museum’s Vietnam War Monument and ends at The Moving Wall in commemoration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day and the 25th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Monument’s dedication, which was held in 1992.
- Sept. 16 – Honor and wreath-laying ceremonies are planned throughout the day. Visitors may schedule a ceremony by visiting www.VietnamRevisited2017.com or by clicking here. The start time is determined after the number of reservations has been confirmed. Additionally, on Sept. 16, enjoy three screenings of the PBS documentary called “They Were Our Fathers,” held in the Virginia War Museum, at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Free tickets are available at the on-site welcome tent, but seating is limited. Later in the evening, an anniversary dinner in commemoration of the 25 years since the Vietnam War Monument was dedicated in Huntington Park takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Post #25 at 7609 Marshall Ave. in Newport News.
- Sept. 17 – Closing ceremony held at 5 p.m. at The Moving Wall
- Sept. 18 – Dismantling of The Moving Wall begins at 9 a.m. Its next destination is Bolton Landing, NY. “To have been given the singular honor of having our application accepted to host the Vietnam Veterans ‘Moving Wall’ here in Newport News is definitely a mark of distinction to be proud of,” said Claire Murphy, Historic Sites Project Supervisor with the city’s Historic Services Division.
In preparation for this event, the Street Repair Division of the Newport News Department of Public Works stepped in to help by creating a sidewalk that will run alongside the length of the Wall. This task consisted of laying 250 linear feet of 5 foot wide asphalt walkway in a large “V-shaped” pattern over grass and crafting an easy access slope entrance.
The Moving Wall has been displayed in every state of the union, as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam and Saipan. Requests for visits have come from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Germany. To learn more about The Moving Wall, visit www.themovingwall.org
. For information about The Moving Wall’s local visit, call 757-817-6108, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
, or visit www.VietnamRevisited2017.com