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Wall on the Way

Moving Vets Memorial Coming To Midville

Seeking to honor local Vietnam War veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the country, the Moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will be coming to Middle Village this summer, it was announced at the Middle Village Property Owners/Residents Association (MVPORA) meeting on Monday night, Feb. 13.

The Moving Vietnam Veterans Wall, as shown on display in Virginia, will be coming to Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village this summer, it was announced at Monday’s meeting of the Middle Village Property Owners/Residents Association.

Salvatore Candela, the civic group’s president, told residents in attendance at St. Margaret Parish Hall that the Moving Wall-a half-size replica of the memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.-is tentatively scheduled to be on display at Juniper Valley Park between June 29 and July 2.

Candela told the Times Newsweekly that the wall will be set up on the eastern end of the ballfields adjacent to the Juniper North Playground near the flagpole and memorial where the annual candlelight vigil for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are held.

The civic group’s president stated that he and other veterans advocates in Middle Village have been advocating for several years to bring the Moving Wall to the community. In recent years, it was on display at Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows and at the U.S.S. Intrepid Air and Space Museum in Manhattan.

Designed by John Devitt, the wall resembles the black granite monu- ment in Washington opened in 1982 containing the names of the more than 58,000 American troops who died during the conflict in Vietnam between 1965 and 1975. Moved by the experience, he and several other veterans volunteered to create a replica that could be transported across the country to allow local communities a chance to reflect and remember those who gave their lives during the war.

The moving wall was first displayed in Tyler, Texas in October 1984; there are currently two replica Vietnam Veterans Memorial walls which are circulated across the United States between April and November.

As previously reported, veterans groups had tried to bring the Moving Wall to Juniper Valley Park in 2004, but an agreement could not be reached, and the display was ultimately brought to Cunningham Park.

Candela noted at Monday’s meeting that the wall takes as little as one day to assemble. Opening and closing ceremonies will bookend the Moving Wall’s stay in Middle Village during the weekend; a variety of veterans groups and elected officials are anticipated to take part in the occasion.

Candela publicly thanked Lynda and Rick Metzger, Ann Marie and Dan Creighton, Tania Broschart of the Middle Village Chamber of Commerce and the offices of State Sen. Joseph Addabbo, Assemblymen Andrew Hevesi and Mike Miller, City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32 President Pat Toro for offering their support throughout the application process.

The wall’s display is being funded through a number of organizations including Maspeth Federal Savings bank, the Middle Village Veterans Day Parade Committee and the United Veterans and Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth, Candela said. He invited all residents to keep their calendars open for the weekend the wall is on display and help remember local war veterans in a special way.

“Let your Vietnam veterans know that you haven’t forgotten them,” Candela told attendees at the MVPORA meeting.

Monday night’s MVPORA meeting also included a presentation by the Internal Revenue Services’ Criminal Investigation Division regarding identity theft and ways taxpayers can help protect themselves from fraud. More information from the session will be featured in next week’s issue of the Times Newsweekly.

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