Vietnam Moving Wall to Honor Veterans in Manhattan, Illinois in June


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MANHATTAN, IL – The Village of Manhattan is gearing up to pay tribute to the nation’s veterans with a heartfelt event this summer. 

From June 30 to July 5, 2023, the Vietnam “Moving Wall,” a remarkable half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, will grace the streets of Manhattan.

“The Moving Wall” was born out of the profound experience of John Devitt, a Vietnam War veteran who attended the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, in 1982. Inspired by the positive power he felt at “The Wall,” Devitt made a vow to share this experience with those who couldn’t make the journey to the nation’s capital.

Joined by fellow Vietnam veterans Norris Shears and Gerry Haver, Devitt spearheaded the construction of The Moving Wall. In October 1984, it made its debut in Tyler, Texas. Since then, two structures of The Moving Wall have traversed the United States, spending about a week at each site from April through November.

Sponsored by the Village of Manhattan and hosted by the Manhattan American Legion Post 935, this poignant memorial will be displayed at the Wabash parking lot, adjacent to the Manhattan Township Building on 230 S. Wabash Street.

To ensure the success of the event, volunteers are essential, especially those willing to guard the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall. Dedicated individuals can sign up for time slots by visiting the link available on the event’s official website.

“The Moving Wall” serves as a somber reminder of the sacrifices made during the Vietnam War. Its arrival in Manhattan presents a unique opportunity for residents to come together and honor the valor of the veterans who selflessly served their country.

Organizers are striving to have at least six volunteers per shift, with a particular emphasis on filling night-time slots. The initial list of volunteers includes representatives from esteemed organizations such as the Illinois Patriot Guard, Mokena Baptist Church, Ridgewood Cycle Association, and many more.

In addition to volunteers, the event seeks sponsorships for food and snacks to support the dedicated guardians of the wall. Businesses and individuals interested in contributing can sign up through the Manhattan, IL Chamber of Commerce’s link.

Veterans themselves are encouraged to participate as guards, allowing them to play an active role in this meaningful tribute. Interested veterans can enlist as “The Guard” by visiting the official website at

For more information and opportunities to get involved, interested individuals can visit the Village of Manhattan’s website at or reach out to Bob Metzger, Post 935 Commander, at 708-473-2357.

The arrival of the Vietnam Moving Wall promises to foster a profound sense of community and remembrance in Manhattan, Illinois. This event provides an invaluable opportunity for residents to unite and express their gratitude while paying homage to the sacrifices made by veterans.

Don’t miss this historic occasion as Manhattan warmly embraces the Vietnam Moving Wall, honoring those who fought and fell in the pursuit of freedom.


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