WEST ORANGE, NJ – The “Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall," a scale replica of the original wall located in Washington, DC will make its only New Jersey appearance of 2017 at West Orange High School's Suriano Stadium, July 1 - 4. The viewing is free to the public.
An opening ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. on July 1, and the wall can be viewed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until the closing ceremony from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on July 4. Suriano Stadium is located in the West Orange High School complex at 51 Conforti Avenue.
The memorial will make its entrance into West Orange on June 30 with a motorcade that includes dozens of veteran service organizations, and motorcycle, law enforcement and firefighter escorts. Veterans are expected to line state highways with VFW and American flags. The motorcade will arrive via Exit 7 on I-280, travel North on Pleasant Valley Way, and enter the field at West Orange High School from Alisa Drive.
The original Vietnam Memorial Wall is located in Constitution Gardens was designed by Yale University architecture student Maya Lin, whose design was selected from 1,421 entries. The wall, comprised of two sections, each 246' 9" in length, honoring U.S. service members of the United States Armed Forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam / South East Asia, and those service members who were unaccounted for (Missing in Action) during the War.
The wall opened on Nov. 13, 1982 and has become a source of healing for veterans who were not welcomed with open arms at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. It was not until May 7, 1985 that New York City held a ticker-tape parade for Vietnam veterans, which continued to foster healing and acceptance.
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is a three / fifth scale replica of the original, standing six feet tall in the center and covers almost 300 feet from end-to-end. 58,272 names appear on the traveling wall as on the original.
“The wall is a testament to the bravery of those from West Orange and communities just like it, who sacrificed for our freedoms,” said West Orange Township Mayor Robert Parisi. “We’re proud to have the honor of hosting this memorial in our township.”