RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. – Veterans on Thursday morning installed a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, honoring those who died in the war, in Overpeck Park.
A memorial service will be held near The Moving Wall on the Great Lawn near the Bandshell at 5 p.m.
More than 180 veterans from Bergen County who died in the conflict will be honored by having their names read at the memorial service, according to Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco.
Relatives of veterans who passed in the Vietnam War who would like to add names to the list should contact Fred Hayo at the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services at 201-336-6330.
The wall will remain at the site until May 24.
Vietnam Veteran Jan Barry of Teaneck, who served in the U.S. Army in the war from December 1962 to October 1963, mulled the meaning of the movable wall.
“Years ago, at the children’s museum in East Orange, they had just one panel there. I was asked to do a poetry reading,” Barry said. “Some teenagers came in and one pointed at a name and said, ‘That was my uncle.’ That’s what having it traveling around can mean for a lot of people.”
It’s an opportunity, he added, for people who might not ever get the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to see the actual wall.
“The traveling wall will not have the same impact,” he added. “The black granite on the original wall is like a mirror. When you look in Washington, you see yourself looking out through the names. It’s a sobering experience.”
The Moving Wall has been touring the country for more than three decades. According to www.themovingwall.org , it was the brainchild of John Devitt who built it along with other volunteer Vietnam veterans.
It first appeared in Tyler, Texas in October 1984.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.