Essex County News

West Orange to Host Only Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall Viewing in New Jersey

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The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall visits Key Largo, FL. Credits: CBS News
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WEST ORANGE, NJ – The Township of West Orange will pay tribute to the veterans of the Vietnam War when the “Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall” arrives at West Orange High School from July 1 to July 4 in Suriano Stadium.

This will be the only appearance of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall in New Jersey this year, and viewing is free to the public

The opening ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. on July 1, and the wall can be viewed for free to the public 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, 51 Conforti Avenue.

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The original Vietnam Memorial Wall is located in Washington, D.C. and was designed by Yale University architecture student Maya Lin, whose design was selected from 1,421 entries.

The wall is part of a tribute to Vietnam veterans and is 86,110 feet 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 Mayor Robert Parisi. “We’re proud to have the honor of hosting this memorial in our township.”

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.

For more information about the event, contact Shari Quirk at squirk@westorange.org or call the Office of the Mayor at 973-325-4100.

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