Vietnam Wall replica will come to Murrysville park in October
Murrysville officials are looking for people and groups interested in escorting a replica of the Vietnam Memorial to the Murrysville Community Park next month.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall will be on display at the park from Oct. 10 to 14. Murrysville Parks and Recreation Director Carly Greene, a Marine Corps veteran, is helping to organize the escort that will bring the Wall to the park before it is assembled. This tradition has taken place in several of the communities where the exhibit has already visited.
“We’ll have opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. (on Oct. 10) after we spend the afternoon assembling the Wall, which will be up 24-7,” Greene said.
The wall is 360 feet long and includes every name inscribed on the permanent national memorial in Washington, D.C. The replica is about 80 percent identical to the original memorial.
Prior to arriving in Murrysville, the wall will be on display in Carmel, New York.
“We’ve had a lot of calls from different veteran service organizations about the escort, like the (American) Legion Riders,” Greene said. “I even got a call from a man who lives all the way out in Belle Vernon, who was interested because his father was a Vietnam veteran. I think people have a real strong connection to it.”
Staging for the escort will begin at 10 a.m. at Murrysville Alliance Church, at 4130 Old William Penn Highway. The escort will leave at 11 a.m.
“We’re going to go down Route 22 to Route 66, and then down Old William Penn Highway through Export and out to the park,” Greene said. “Local police will be supporting it as far as holding lights and making sure everyone’s safe.”
As a veteran, Greene said one of recreation department’s main goals in bringing the replica to Murrysville was so that older residents and veterans, who may not be able to make the trip to D.C., are still able to see the memorial in some capacity.
“It’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community,” Greene said. “It’s wonderful for those who can’t make that trip and haven’t been able to see the Wall, and to educate the public about the Vietnam conflict and the sacrifices that our veterans make for their families and for our freedoms.”
Greene said several regional schools have called about scheduling student field trips to view the exhibit, and Veterans Affairs plans to bring a busload of veterans from its Oakland facility to see the replica.
“We want to be able to honor our servicemen and women as much as we can,” she said.
Anyone interested in helping escort the Wall can contact Greene at 724-327-2100, ext. 115 or 131.
The park is at 4056 Wiestertown Road in Murrysville.
For more, see Murrysville.com .
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.