2014 has been another big year at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park in Angel Fire. On June 30, Governor Susana Martinez came to the memorial to announce that ten acres adjoining the memorial to the south had been selected as a rural veteran’s cemetery. The land was donated by two Vietnam vets. It will be built to federal standards and administered by the state of New Mexico. The cemetery will be open to all veterans and authorized family members from all 50 states. We are hopeful that construction will start in 2016.
Memorial Day weekend was extremely well attended with Joe Galloway as the keynote speaker. Joe was the co-author with MG Hal Moore of the book We Were Soldiers – Once and Young.
The number of bricks laid on August 30 continues to mount with 452 red brick and another eight Medal of Honor bricks. They were laid by the Run for the Wall riders who come to Angel Fire annually during Labor Day weekend. Medal of Honor recipient MSG Leroy Petry attended the ceremony and read one of the Medal of Honor citations. Brick laying in 2015 will be September 5.
New Mexico State Park staff has developed a virtual tour of the items/exhibits in the Visitor Center. It may be accessed from a button on the home page of the Westphall web site, www.vietnamveteransmemorial.org.
The David Westphall Foundation has been working with the State of New Mexico Legislative Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee to acquire funding for infrastructure improvements at the Memorial. The bill will be heard during the upcoming 60 day session starting mid-January 2015. Approved funds will be available to the Park July 1, 2015.
A reminder that the Visitor Center and Gift Shop are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until April 1 when each will be open seven days a week until October 30.
David Westphall Veterans Foundation