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Traveling Vietnam War memorial wall visits RR

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Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013 12:00 am

The Moving Wall, the traveling half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be on display for the public to view 24 hours a day at the Rio Rancho Sports Complex, beginning at noon Thursday and concluding at 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21.

Viewing The Moving Wall is free of charge. Guidelines while viewing include: mobile devices must be on silent; no animals; no smoking; no music and children should not be left unattended.

On Friday at 10 a.m., a public event at the display site will feature guest speakers and other special ceremonies.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., honors and recognizes those who served and sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War. Dedicated in 1982, the memorial consists of black granite walls with the names of the more than 58,000 men and eight women who gave their lives or remain missing from 1959-75. There were 399 casualties from New Mexico.

The origins of The Moving Wall stem from John Devitt, who attended the 1982 dedication ceremony, and his vow to share his experience with those who did not have the opportunity to travel to the nation’s capital. Devitt, along with others including Vietnam veterans, built The Moving Wall, and it went on display for the first time in 1984. For the last 30 years or so, The Moving Wall has traveled the U.S. (

Local Chapter 176 of The Military Order of the Purple Heart led local efforts to make the necessary arrangements, including private fund-raising, to bring The Moving Wall to Rio Rancho. The Rio Rancho Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department worked with the local chapter to coordinate and make space available for The Moving Wall at the sports complex, 3501 High Resort Blvd.

To allow for the setup, display and removal of The Moving Wall, Parson’s Field at the sports complex will be closed to the public for sports games and practices Oct. 15-22.

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