The stage is all set for next month's visit from the Wall That Heals, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Vietnam veteran Dave Walters, of Moorestown, who has arranged the details of the visit from day one, said the memorial will roll through downtown around roughly 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 4.
Sgt. Randy Pugh, Moorestown Police Department traffic safety officer, said the trailer hauling the wall will exit off Route 73 and enter Moorestown via Camden Avenue. It will then roll down Main Street—led by a squadron of motorcycles—right through downtown, before turning onto Marne Highway, then Centerton Road, on its way to the YMCA. The wall will spend the duration of its stay in Moorestown (June 4-10) on a large, open area behind the Y.
Pugh said the roads won't have to be closed; police officers will simply clear the road of vehicles ahead of the wall as it makes it way through town.
"I told (Walters) I would do whatever it took to get the wall through town. I basically treat it as a hallowed thing," said Pugh, a former Marine who served in Vietnam. "I have a personal interest in it."
He said the wall's arrival should go much more smoothly than the trip the "Miracle on the Hudson" plane took through downtown two years ago, when the famous aircraft got stuck at the corner of Chester Avenue and Main Street.
According to Pugh, the department didn't have any advance notice that the plane would be making its way through Moorestown.
"I had never heard anything about that," he said. "Someone called and told me ... I thought they were kidding."
Walters is seeking volunteers to help set up the Wall That Heals Wednesday morning (June 5). About 20 people are needed to erect the wall, he said. If you're interested in volunteering, contact Walters at 856-313-4928, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
An opening ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. June 5, featuring a number of guest speakers, including Moorestown Mayor Stacey Jordan, Mount Laurel Mayor Linda Bobo and Assemblyman Troy Singleton, as well as military guests.
Walters said he's also attempting to get children's choruses from each town—Moorestown and Mount Laurel, since the wall will sit right near the border—to sing a patriotic tune at the opening ceremony.
"We want everybody there," he said of the ceremony.
Volunteers are also needed to provide 24-hour security at the wall, as well as assist visitors. Go here to sign up for visitor assistance and here to sign up for security. (Shifts are available in four-hour increments.)
The wall will remain in Moorestown until June 10. Volunteers are needed for 8:30 a.m. that morning to help break down the wall as well.