Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
KENNER, La. - It is both literally and figuratively a moving tribute to some of the thousands who died in the Vietnam War. "The Moving Wall," a traveling half-replica of one of Washington, D.C.'s most touching monuments is on display in Kenner.
The replica of a section of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is in Kenner this weekend and open to the public 24 hours a day near Kenner City Hall. The Moving Wall's visit coincides with Armed Forces Day on Saturday.
The wall is on display at Kenner’s Veterans Park, 1801 Williams Blvd., near City Hall.
In addition to the wall, a special Honor Board is on display with the 47 names of the fallen heroes from Jefferson Parish (including 7 from Kenner) who were killed in Vietnam during the war.
The one-half replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial travels around the country about nine months during the year. This Moving Wall exhibit was last on display in the New Orleans area in 1993, though other Vietnam Wall replicas have visited the area in the past ten years, including the West Bank and Destrehan.
"This wall only goes to 32 cities a year," explained organizer and war veteran Arthur Tudela, a Kenner resident. "That's how privileged and fortunate we are to have it here."
The two walls that make up The Moving Wall are just over 126 feet long. The wall in total is 253 feet, just slightly longer than half the length of the actual memorial, which is 493 feet.
The Moving Wall was dedicated in 1982 and first unveiled in 1984. It was conceived by a group of veterans, who designed it as a way to bring the somber and touching experience of the wall to those who could not travel to the nation’s capital.
Speaking at an opening ceremony on Friday, Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni said he expected the wall to draw crowds from throughout the area, not just Jefferson Parish.
In addition to the public display, Yenni said an essay contest is being held for fifth graders in the Jefferson Parish Public School System and New Orleans Catholic Schools. Three winners from each system will read their essays at a special ceremony Saturday in front of The Moving Wall. Click here for more information.
There will also be a sunrise service at the wall on Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. and a closing ceremony Sunday at 6 p.m. The wall will be dismantled Monday around noon.