September 18, 2019

Remembrance Vigil

We welcome all to attend the Remembrance Vigil (including the POW/MIA Missing Man Ceremony and Gold Star Wives Speaker) at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Angel Fire, NM.

When: Sunday, May 26, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Where: Angel Fire, NM – Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial

Vigil will be held outdoors in the amphitheater if at all possible, so coats and blankets recommended.

Summer 2017 Recap For The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Spirit of Angel Fire

We have had a great fall in Angel Fire but are now looking for some snow to get the ski season started. The transition of the Memorial from New Mexico State Parks to the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services management has gone smoothly. The transfer ceremony was held July 3, 2017. We welcome Debra Herbst as the new Memorial manager. She is a retired USMC, CWO3. She can be reached at 575-377-2293.

On May 16th, the Huey helicopter 13670, located at the Memorial was returned from the former Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico where it had been completely refurbished and repainted. It was transported each way by the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Aer Sale handled all of the mechanical work and Dean Baldwin Painting did the repainting. All of this work was accomplished pro bono. A big shout out to the NM Dept. of Transportation and the two companies in Roswell for this effort. A video of this effort will be placed on the David Westphall Veterans Foundation website in the new future.

The Memorial Day ceremony this year featured Ken Cordier, Col. USAF, Ret. as the keynote speaker. Col. Cordier was a POW in Hanoi for over six years.

The annual bricklaying conducted September 2 by Run For The Wall riders went off especially well. Hershel “Woody” Williams, last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from Iwo Jima was present and laid his own brick. 413 memorial bricks and nine Medal of Honor bricks were laid.

On Veterans Day, our keynote speaker was Bill Martin, a retired Naval Aviator who flew over 300 combat missions in helicopter gunships in the Mekong Delta during 1967 and 1968.

The Department of Veterans Services and the David Westphall Veterans Foundation will be engaged in planning sessions this winter to develop long range plans for the continued care of the current Memorial infrastructure and the addition of new infrastructure. The state rural veterans cemetery located adjacent to the Memorial is on track for completion in the not too distant future.

Remember the Foundation Gift shop as you are preparing your Christmas list for veteran friends. You can reach Gayle and Leanne in the gift shop at 575-377-6900 or on the website at to order bricks or other items.

Calendar of Events 2018

  • May 18-19, 2018 – Run For The Wall
  • May 26-28, 2018 – Memorial Day Weekend
  • September 1, 2018 – Memorial Brick Laying and Run For The Riders Reunion

Whether we are having an event or not, you are always welcome to stop by the Memorial and see the changes in our exhibits and how we are remembering and teaching about this time in our history.

Chuck Howe, DWVF Board President

Spirit Of Angel Fire

Veterans Services Set to Take Over Operations of Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park

After almost a year of discussions, the New Mexico State Parks division of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department of the State of New Mexico and the New Mexico Veterans Services Department have agreed that the daily operations of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park be turned over to the NM Department of Veterans Services.

Mission statements of both state departments helped in coming to this conclusion. This change will become effective July 1, 2017, if the New Mexico State Legislature approves a Joint Resolution that is set to be presented during the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session beginning on January 17, 2017. The property will still be owned by the State of New Mexico and the only change will be in the responsibility of the daily operations.

Change will be a smooth transition. Currently the NM State Parks division is searching for a new Park Manager that is preferred to have veteran status and would be eligible to carry forward as manager after the transition. NM Veterans Services will also be allowed input into the candidate selection for the position.

Once the transition is completed, Veterans Services officers will maintain an office on the Memorial grounds. The Memorial will maintain the full-time and seasonal staffing it has had in the past.

The David Westphall Veterans Foundation that has contributed major support in the past will continue its support and is in support of this change of operation.

Chuck Howe
Board President
David Westphall Veterans Foundation

A Message From The David Westphall Foundation

hueyA message from the David Westphall Foundation and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park.

Where’s the Huey?

The most asked question these days at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park in Angel Fire. On October 21st, with the help from several wonderful people and organizations, the Memorial’s Huey, Viking Surprise, began its trip to Roswell to be restored to the condition it was in as a transport helicopter during the Vietnam War.

She is at at AirSale of Roswell, NM, where they will refurbish her and then send her to nearby Dean Baldwin Painting. Afterwards our Huey will be trucked back to Angel Fire and put back on display where she belongs, at our beloved Memorial.

Visit us on Veterans Day, November 11, 2016 in honor of all Veterans past and present.

11th hour, 11th day, 11th month
11:00 am at the ampitheater

Keynote Speaker

Colonel George Brick, Vice Dean of College & High School Principal of New Mexico Military Institute

Featuring the New Mexico Military Institute JROTC Color Guard and Cimarron High School Band

Memorial Brick Laying & Run For The Wall Reunion

wall-reunionWhen: August 30, 2014 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Where: Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park

This weekend celebrates Veterans of all eras at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park. Memorial bricks are laid for those who have protected our country throughout the years. A touching ceremony is held as each brick is laid along the walkways.

This is also a weekend of reunion for riders of Run for the Wall motorcycle ride that passes through the Moreno Valley in May, headed for Washington, DC for Memorial Day.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park
Hwy 64
Angel Fire, NM

1 Nite 2 Unite

1-nite-2-uniteJoin us as 9 churches and groups from the Moreno Valley come together in a concert of music and song! This is a non-denominational event.

When: Wednesday, July 3, 2014

5:30 pm – Free Admission & Food

6:00 pm – Free Christian Concert

Where: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Amphitheater

A special night for Christians of Moreno Valley to UNITE and sing praise and worship to our Lord! Join us in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Amphitheater for:

  • Gospel/Traditional Songs
  • Contemporary Music
  • Sing-A-Long
  • Praise & Worship
  • Free Admission & Food

Roz Garland writes, “As evidenced by the attendance last year by more than 500 people, the 1 Nite to Unite Concert is one of the largest events in Angel Fire. This year, we are expecting and planning for more than 750 people to attend! This event is totally funded by donations by churches, groups and individuals. However, costs are escalating and we will probably not break even this year. Donations for next year’s event can be made at the concert itself.”

  • The following area churches and groups are participating in this concert:
  • Wheeler Peak Cowboy Fellowship
  • Angel Fire Baptist Church
  • Eagle Nest Baptist Church & Cowboy Fellowship
  • Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church
  • Moreno Valley Community Church
  • St. Mel’s & Holy Angels Catholic Church
  • Faith Mountain Fellowship Church
  • United Church of Angel Fire
  • Moreno Valley Community Choir
  • Hail’s Holy Smoked BBQ is providing free hotdogs/chips/water
  • Del Norte Baptist Church Youth Group in ABQ will be volunteering on site.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park Guided Tours

guided-toursTours begin at the park office inside the visitor center.

When: June 6 to August 24, 2014

  • Fridays: 3:00 pm
  • Saturdays: 11:00 am and 3:00 pm
  • Sundays: 11:00 am

Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park

Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park & Friends Group Says “I Know Jo, Do You?”

vietnam-01By Jo Mixon

Kate Germain, Park Manager

Kate Germain, Park Manager of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, wants to welcome everyone to the events planned for Memorial Day weekend, May 24- May 26, 2014. She said it is the biggest event of the year. The entire weekend is full.

The first Memorial Day event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park was held in 1971, on the anniversary of Marine First Lieutenant David Westphall’s death, when the chapel was dedicated. Each year hundreds and hundreds of veterans and their families continued to fill the chapel to overflowing. Weather permitting, the events now take place in the Amphitheater, built in 2007. It has seating for approximately 500 people. And the state has now added a cement walkway to the top seating row, for wheelchairs. Kate says, “It’s like a huge family reunion.” People come and spend the weekend in Angel Fire, Eagle Nest or the tent city that goes up between the two.

On Saturday May 24, beginning at 1:00 pm there will be a POW/MIA update in the conference room followed by the Flag Retirement Ceremony, east of the amphitheater, at 3:00 pm. In years past, the Flag Retirement was held closer to July 4th, but they have moved it up to get ahead of fire restrictions and the possibility of cancellation. If you have flags that need to be retired, you may drop them off at the main Angel Fire Fire Department or bring them to the Memorial. A new fire pit has been erected on sight specifically for this ceremony. The American Legion Riders, Chapter 19- Post 90, from Los Alamos has adopted this year’s ceremony. Kate said they encourage different associations to sponsor and adopt many of the activities held at the Memorial, it helps veterans to feel a sense of ownership and she says it belongs to them.

On Sunday May 25 there will be Native American Storytelling at 11:00 am, Hope & Healing for Homefront Families at 1:00 pm, POW/MIA updates at 2:00 pm, Education Center at the Wall: Explaining the Vietnam War to the next Generations at 3:00 pm followed by the Candlelight Vigil in the amphitheater at 6:00 pm.

On Monday 9:00 am, May 26 you are invited to join Native American Veterans from the Okhay Owingeh for the flag raising and morning prayers. Then a 60’x40′ flag will be marched from the blinking light at NM 434 /US64, along the highway, up to the Memorial. If you have never witnessed this event please plan to this year. It is incredible to watch. Or, if you want, you are invited to participate in the march. At 9:30 am the 44th Army Band will play and the Memorial Day Ceremony starts at 11:00 am. Joseph Lee “Joe” Galloway, an American newspaper correspondent and columnist and author of “We Were Soldiers” will be on hand to sign books at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. He is the former Military Affairs consultant for the Knight-Ridder chain of newspapers and was a columnist with McClatchy Newspapers.

Kate also wanted me to mention the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Sate Park Friends Group. They are a grassroots organization formed in 2012, when the state’s budget forced the reduction of budget and staff. The group consists of private citizens from all over New Mexico and its sole purpose is the support of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, to improve the visitor experience. Every dollar they raise goes into the Memorial. Kate told me for the first time ever, they now have matching comfortable chairs in the Visitor Center movie room donated by the Friends Group! The State employs two full time seasonal staff in the summer and one in the winter. All other helpers are volunteers. She said it takes about 25 volunteers to help with the Memorial Day weekend activities.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park was the first major Vietnam memorial in the United States. It is currently the only state park dedicated exclusively to veterans of the Vietnam War. It was begun by Victor and Jeanne Westphall, grief-stricken parents of Marine First Lieutenant David Westphall, who was among sixteen young men in his unit killed in an ambush on May 22, 1968 in Vietnam. The Westphalls used their son’s insurance policies to begin construction of the Peace and Brotherhood Chapel. The chapel resembles a sail and perches on the hillside overlooking the Moreno Valley. It is open twenty-four hours a day. At the time of its construction, the site received national media attention and helped inspire the establishment of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., completed in 1982. In 1987, the United States Congress recognized Angel Fire as a memorial of national significance.

It also makes a significant contribution to the economy of Angel Fire and the Moreno Valley. An average of over 45,000 people a year visit the memorial. Three quarters of them come between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The David Westphall Visitor Center, located on site, provides local brochures and recommends lodging, restaurants and activities to encourage visitors to stay whenever possible.Volunteers are always appreciated.










Coming Soon! Flag Retirement Ceremony

flag-ceremonyVietnam Veterans Memorial Park

We’re collecting flags now for the ceremony in May. If you have any flags that need to be disposed of in a dignified way, please drop them off at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the Angel Fire Fire Department Station #1.

For more information please call 575-377-2293 or email

Flag Retirement Ceremony

flag-retirement-ceremonyWe’re collecting flags now for the ceremony in May. If you have any flags that need to be disposed of in a dignified way, please drop them off at the Memorial or at Angel Fire Fire Department Station #1.

When: TBD in May, 2014

Where: Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park

For more information call 575-377-2293 or email