Moving Wall shifts

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Jefferson-The site for The Moving Vietnam Wall display in Jefferson Township scheduled for Sept. 23 - 28, has been changed to Lakeside Park, Route 15 South, Lake Hopatcong. The entrance driveway is between Weichert Realtors, 762 Route 15 South and Fleet Bank, 758 Route 15 South. It took a two-year letter writing campaign and the intervention and support of local government officials to bring "The Moving Wall," half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to the township. It will be on display 24 hours. Jack Kelly, chairman of the Jefferson Township Bicentennial Committee,says Jefferson would be the only New Jersey community to host The Moving Wall in 2004. The Moving Wall was created in 1982 after Vietnam Combat Veteran John Devitt visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. He was so unexpectedly moved by the encounter that he vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington by creating a smaller version that could travel around the country. Devitt returned to his home in California; and with the help of two Navy friends Norris Shears and Gerry Haver, along with a contribution from the San Jose City Council, they constructed the very first, half-size mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On October 15, 1984, the half-size replica was displayed for the first time in Tyler, Texas at the Rose Festival. When it evoked the same emotions there as were witnessed in the Nation's Capitol, the California vets knew they had touched America's heart. When visitors noted that The Wall could be moved as well as being a moving experience, the name The Moving Wall was adopted for this mobile veterans memorial. Over the past 20 years, The Moving Wall has toured the entire United States and been displayed in Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Mariana Islands n a total of 909 communities since January of 2004.