Halfmoon, NY – Senator Kathy Marchione (R,C,I-Halfmoon), Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, and member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, proudly announced that she is sponsoring “The Moving Wall” when it visits the Halfmoon Town Park June 2-6. The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial that has toured the country for nearly 30 years, affording millions of Americans the opportunity to personally experience this special, powerful and moving tribute to the nation’s fallen Vietnam War veterans.
“Our Vietnam War veterans are true heroes deserving of our thanks, appreciation, praise and eternal respect. The Moving Wall is a powerful tribute to the sacrifice and valor of our Vietnam Veterans who gave all in their service to America. I am honored to have the opportunity and privilege of sponsoring this powerful Memorial’s appearance in our region June 2 through June 6,” Senator Marchione said.
“The Vietnam War was such a tumultuous time in America’s history. Too many of our veterans never received the proper thanks, recognition, respect and homecoming they rightfully deserved. Nearly 60,000 of our brave soldiers were killed during Vietnam and more than 150,000 were wounded. The Moving Wall is a memorial to our nation’s fallen and also a symbol of hope and healing. I encourage everyone across our Capital Region to make time June 2-6 to visit The Moving Wall when it comes to the Halfmoon Town Park. Join me in reflecting on the brave soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice, remembering their names and honoring their service,” Senator Marchione stated.
As noted on The Moving Wall’s official website – themovingwall.org – The Moving Wall originated when John Devitt attended the 1982 dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Devitt felt the positive power of “The Wall” and vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington. John Devitt, Norris Shears, Gerry Haver, and other Vietnam veteran volunteers built The Moving Wall. It went on display for the first time in Tyler, Texas in October of 1984. Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the USA from April through November, spending about a week at each site.
During its visit to Halfmoon June 2-6, The Moving Wall will require hundreds of volunteers to read aloud the names of the Vietnam War’s fallen and also help accommodate the large crowds expected to visit the Memorial daily.
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 2.7 million American men and women served in Vietnam. During the war, over 58,000 U.S. military members lost their lives and 153,000 were wounded. There were 766 Prisoners of War of which 114 died in captivity. In addition, as noted on VAntage Point, the official Blog of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, over the course of the Vietnam War more than 700 American servicemen and civilians were captured and held in Prisoner of War camps in Hanoi, the surrounding region and in South Vietnam. More than 1,600 servicemen, civilians and women are still considered Missing in Action.
“Halfmoon proudly recognizes America’s Vietnam War veterans and we’re deeply honored to host The Moving Wall when it comes to our Town Park June 2-6. The entire Town Board and I thank Senator Marchione for her sponsorship of this Memorial, for selecting Halfmoon as the host community for this special tribute and, most important, for always making our veterans a top priority,” said Halfmoon Town Supervisor Kevin Tollisen (R,C,I-Halfmoon).
As the host community for The Moving Wall, the Town of Halfmoon is providing a great deal of logistical, personnel, material support and direct assistance for the Memorial, reflecting the Town’s deep commitment to recognizing America’s veterans.
“Having served during the Vietnam War – and continuing to serve my fellow veterans of Vietnam and all wars – I know firsthand the critical importance of recognizing the incredible sacrifice our Vietnam War veterans made. On behalf of Vietnam Veterans, I want to thank Senator Marchione for caring enough about us to bring The Moving Wall to the Capital Region this June. It is my hope that families from across the region will visit The Moving Wall and help commemorate the lives and service of the courageous members of our military who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Gary Flaherty, Command Sergeant Major and Captain, United States Army, retired. Mr. Flaherty also serves as Director of Veteran’s Services for Columbia County and was Senator Marchione’s 2014 inductee to the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame.
More details about The Moving Wall’s appearance in Halfmoon Town Park June 2-6 will be released in the weeks ahead.