Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica coming to Queens park

September 27, 2023

Photo courtesy of Marsha Miller for LBJ Library on Flickr (public domain)

A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be on display in Queens in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of the war. “The Wall That Heals,” a traveling three-quarter-scale version of the memorial in Washington D.C., arrives in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on Thursday, a way for New Yorkers to remember the lives lost during the conflict. The memorial is free and open to the public from September 28 through October 1.

Image courtesy of Tim Tetz

Since debuting in 1996, “The Wall That Heals” has been presented in more than 700 communities across the United States, as well as four provinces of Ireland in April 1999 and Canada in 2005. Designed by Maya Lin, the original monument in the nation’s capital was completed in 1982.

The chevron-shaped memorial is made of Avonite, a synthetic form of granite, measures 375 feet in length, and stands 7.5 feet tall at its highest point. It consists of 144 individual panels that are supported by an aluminum frame, with light provided by LED lighting.

Similarly to the original version, the memorial gradually rises as spectators walk towards its apex, a key design feature of the Wall in D.C. Visitors are able to do rubbings of individual service members’ names. All of the names are listed in order of date of casualty and alphabetically on each day. The names begin at the center and make their way out to the right side before picking up again on the west side and working their way back to the center.

Image courtesy of Tim Tetz

A 53-foot-long trailer transports the monument from city to city and transforms into a mobile education center when it’s parked. After the memorial is installed, the trailer’s sides open, revealing exhibits that tell the story about the history surrounding the Vietnam War, its controversy, and the Wall.

“This week, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of combat operations in the Vietnam War and honor the sacrifice of the brave men and women in uniform, our Gold Star Families, and all the families of those who have served our country so bravely,” Mayor Eric Adams said.

“Those who have served know what it takes to put their life on the line on behalf of their fellow Americans. We owe you what we value most, our freedom, and hope that you will join us this fall when ‘The Wall That Heals’ comes to Flushing Meadows Corona Park to honor and offer healing to our Vietnam War era brothers and sisters.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is offering free shuttle bus rides between the Mets-Willets Point subway station and the memorial. Between September 28 and 30, the shuttle will run every hour between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. On October 1, the shuttle will run every hour between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The shuttle will make stops along Roosevelt Avenue between Union Street and Main Street, in front of the Mets-Willets Point station, and in front of the Flushing/Main Street station.

Those who are interested in becoming a volunteer to help with outreach and visitor services at the memorial can apply here.


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