Sep. 26, 2023 By Bill Parry
The MTA is working with the NYC Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide shuttle bus service between the Mets-Willets Point 7 train station and Flushing Meadows Corona Park for all those wishing to visit the “The Wall that Heals,” a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., that honors the more than three million Americans who served in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam conflict.
“We are excited to partner with the MTA while The Wall That Heals is on display in Flushing Meadows Corona Park,” Department of Veterans’ Services Commissioner James Hendon said. “”The addition of shuttle buses not only provides a convenient option for New Yorkers to pay their respects, it also makes The Wall That Heals accessible to an even wider audience.”
Between Thursday, Sept. 28, and Saturday, Sept. 30, the shuttle will operate every 60 minutes between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The shuttle will operate between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1.
The shuttle bus will make stops at Roosevelt Avenue between Union Street and Main Street, Roosevelt Avenue in front of the Mets-Willets Point subway station and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
“We are proud to be working with the Department of Veterans’ Services to ensure that everyone can visit the memorial to pay their respects to the millions of Americans who served in the Vietnam War,” NYC Transit Senior VP of Buses Frank Annicaro said.
The average age of Vietnam veterans is 68 years old and less than 800,000 are estimated to be alive today, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 58,000 service members paid the ultimate sacrifice during the war, and more than 1,500 remain missing or accounted for.
“The Wall That Heals is a powerful commemoration of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War,” said Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers, chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “The wall’s exhibition in New York City provides an important opportunity for local families to honor their loved ones, and there should be minimal impediments to access the wall at its location in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The MTA bus service between Mets-Willets Point and the Memorial is an important step towards making the Wall more accessible in an area that is otherwise hard to reach via public transit.”
The Wall will be located near the World Ice Arena in the northeast corner of the park at 131-04 Meridian Road.
“New Yorkers have a great chance to reflect on our history and pay tribute to our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said state Senator John Liu, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. “Many thanks to the MTA for making sure this special exhibit is accessible to all New Yorkers with bus service between Mets-Willets Point and the memorial in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.”
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said it was fitting that the Wall That Heals will be on display in the borough that is home to more veterans than any other borough.
“The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., is world-renowned for its unique ability to help people cope with the painful impact of that war and its entire tumultuous era,” Richards said. “I’m sure The Wall That Heals will have the same effect on those who view it. I look forward to paying a visit to The Wall That Heals and I encourage all Queens residents to do the same.”
Richards also announced he will host the Queens Veterans Jobs and Resource Fair at Borough Hall on Thursday, Oct. 5, to help support the nearly 42,000 military veterans who call Queens home and to express the borough’s appreciation for their service.
All military veterans are invited to attend the event that will feature multiple organizations that connect veterans with jobs, career training opportunities, housing assistance, mental health and substance abuse treatment and other services. The event is from 1 to 5 p.m. and representatives from the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services will seek to fill positions in city government. Additionally, the Council Airport Opportunity will also be on hand looking to place veterans in jobs at JFK and LaGuardia airports.
The fair will also include presentations from the V.A. on preventing veteran suicides and about how veterans can access benefits under the Pact Act — the 2022 federal law that expands health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.
The Hope Program will offer a presentation about its job training initiatives for veterans, while the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University will discuss its efforts to help veterans improve their mental health.
“Queens is the proud home of more veterans than any other borough, and we deeply thank all of our veterans for their distinguished service to our country,” Richards said. “Americans enjoy liberty and security thanks to the sacrifices made by our military veterans. That’s why it’s important we host a Queens Veterans Jobs and Resources Fair to connect our borough’s veterans with organizations committed to helping them live happy and productive civilian lives.”
In addition, representatives from several CUNY colleges will be in attendance to share information about the services the colleges provide to their student veterans. Members of the public who are interested in attending the Queens Veterans Jobs and Resources fair are asked to RSVP by visiting queensbp.org/RSVP.