The Moving Wall Coming to County College of Morris in July

Photo courtesy of VFW Post 7333

By Steve Sears

“The Moving Wall”, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., for over 30 years has traveled our great nation, and this summer it makes a four day stop at County College of Morris. 

Bill Menzel, Vice-Commander of Randolph VFW Post 7333, speaks about the 280-foot wall, which will be unveiled shortly after Independence Day, from July 8 thru the 10th, 2022. “It’s been around and it’s been rebuilt. It’s not the same wall that they started with.”

“The Moving Wall” has in the past been on display in Essex and Sussex counties, but never in Morris County. “We expect somewhere between 20 and 30,000 visitors over three days,” Menzel says. The wall arrives and will be set up on the 7th, and will be available for public viewing from the 8th to the 10th. Menzel explains the proceedings. “The 8th is where we will have our opening. There will be some ceremonies and readings, and then the 9th will be the grand opening for the major speeches. And, of course, every day we’ll have a rifle salute to the National Anthem, and playing taps at night. It will be a 24-hour program, and then the 10th will be the closing ceremony. It’s just three days that the public can access it.” The wall will be taken down on the 11th. Menzel also mentions that there is a special outreach to all the Gold Star families in Morris County and New Jersey. “We’ll be making a special effort to honor them.”

Vietnam Combat Veterans, Ltd. of White Pine, Michigan manages “The Moving Wall.” “They create a schedule every year,” says Menzel of the group. “One of the reasons why we’re working with the county college is because they’re providing a lot of the financial support in the sense of helping with putting up the walkways and providing security and printing programs. It’s really a very strong sponsorship that they’re providing for this program.” Menzel also recognizes the support of Senator Anthony Bucco, Assemblyman Brian Bergen, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, Randolph Township Mayor Marie Potter and the township council, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, and the participation of the American Legion, the Red Cross, the Vet Center – which is part of the Veterans Administration, Disabled Veterans of America, and the Vietnam Veterans of America. “All these veteran’s groups will be participating to some degree or another in this program. It’s a real strong community effort,” Menzel says.

VFW Post 7333 was founded after World War II, and it serves Randolph, Dover, Mendham, Mine Hill and Chester. The mission statement is as follows: Our mission is to help represent the Veterans who have fought in foreign wars in the communities we serve. Our goals are to support our Veterans when they need assistance, to maintain a relationship of respect and trust with our communities, to encourage patriotism and to honor our Fallen and current military. “We welcome veterans from any kind of foreign war action. If you were under fire someplace outside of the United States,” Menzel says, “we welcome you.”

Any donations made on the VFW Post 7333 website (www.VFWPost7333.org) will be used to support “The Moving Wall” program, and there’s also an opportunity to sign up to be a volunteer for the event. “We have over 30 volunteers that are going to be part of the process,” Menzel explains. “You need people to guide people to the wall and help them find a name. You need at least a staff of 10 people available at any given point in time. It’s going to be in shifts, three shifts a day. You also need people to put up the wall and take down the wall. The Warriors’ Watch Riders escort the trucks when they arrive and they help put up the wall.”

Visit www.themovingwall.org for more information.

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