Manhattan: Vietnam Moving Wall Visiting For the Fourth

You're never too young to show appreciation for those who gave their lives for our freedom. Visitors of all ages came from throughout the area to pay their respects at the Vietnam Moving Wall that came to Manhattan during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. (Photo by Karen Haave)
You're never too young to show appreciation for those who gave their lives for our freedom. Visitors of all ages came from throughout the area to pay their respects at the Vietnam Moving Wall that came to Manhattan during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. (Photo by Karen Haave)

Final preparations are being made in the Village of Manhattan for the arrival of The Vietnam Moving Wall, scheduled to arrive June 30.
The Moving Wall will be on display 24 hours a day until noon on July 5 in the Wabash parking lot in front of the Manhattan Township Building, 230 S. Wabash St. The village is sponsoring this event and will be hosted by the Manhattan American Legion Post 935.
A somber escort processional begins at 8 a.m. Friday, June 30, as The Vietnam Moving Wall will leave from 1009 W. Laraway Road in New Lenox. A map detailing the escort route is posted on the Village’s website.
Residents are encouraged to look for the processional during the morning hours as it winds its way through town and to the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery and back. At 6 p.m., the village will host the formal opening ceremony at 230 S. Wabash St. in the Wabash parking lot.
The Moving Wall is the half-size replica of the Washington, D.C., Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country for 30-plus years. Built by Vietnam veteran volunteers, the memorial first went on display in Tyler, Texas, in October 1984. Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the USA from April through November, spending about a week at each site.
The Wall – 254 feet long — currently bears 58,283 names of those lost in the war that began in 1959 and ended in 1975 on74, 40-pound panels forged of aluminum silkscreen.
It includes one 15-year-old, eight nurses, 16 chaplains and three sets of fathers and sons.
A tiny white “plus” sign next to a name indicates that that person remains missing in action or a prisoner of war.
The Moving Wall has traveled to Will County several times, the last being to New Lenox in November 2021.
The Village of Manhattan is still finalizing all the planning details for the presentation of the Wall. The Village and many local community organizations will be working together to make this event a success. We will be looking for volunteers to support this important presentation.
If anyone would like to volunteer or donate, please contact Kristen Reinke at Village of Manhattan at 815-418-2053 or [email protected].
In addition to the wall, the village is hosting a Healing Field of Honor in Central Park, 110 S. Park Road, Manhattan. According to the Healing Field website, this is a “panorama where United States flags will fly in a solemn formation at Central Park” during The Moving Wall dates.
The flags are meant to “bring the community together in a patriotic tribute to honor our heroes. Each U.S. flag represents an individual and tells a story.”
Flags can be purchased via the link on the Village of Manhattan’s website (www.villageofmanhattan.org) and dedicated to a veteran for all to visit and honor their service. After July 5, those who purchased a flag will be able to pick them up at the Manhattan Village Hall, at 260 Market Place, so they can be flown at their own home.
“Hosting The Moving Wall and the Healing Field of Honor is all part of our Village celebration of Independence Day,” said Manhattan Mayor Mike Adrieansen in a press release from the village.
“Trustee Ron Adamski, a former U.S. Navy Veteran, has been working with me and a committee of others to put this entire event together so we can properly pay tribute to the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”
Those involved are still looking for food donations and volunteers to assist.
“There is a lot of work that happens behind the scenes for this kind of event to take place, so we are asking residents and businesses to help by volunteering or donating food,” stated Adamski in the release.
“It is a great honor for the Post 935 and the Village of Manhattan to sponsor The Moving Wall in our Community,” said Bob Metzger, Commander of American Legion Post 935.
“When we honor our members of the Armed Services who paid the ultimate sacrifice, we are also educating our youth about the story of the United States and the sacrifices made for them to live their lives to the fullest.”
For more information on the entire Independence Day events, visit the Manhattan website, www.villageofmanhattan.org, or please contact Kristen Reinke at the Village of Manhattan at 815-418-2053 or [email protected].

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