Veterans Services takes over Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire

Source: New Mexico Department of Veterans Services

ANGEL FIRE, N.M. (KRQE) – The majestic Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Angel Fire is under new management.

Veterans say the transfer from State Parks to the State Department of Veterans Services brings the memorial home.

Since its completion by Dr. Westphal in 1971, in tribute to his son who was killed in Vietnam, the memorial has switched hands several times — most recently operated by New Mexico State Parks.

In ceremonies attended by the governor and many Vietnam veterans, along with their friends and families, the memorial was transferred again.

“Well first off, this is a sacred place and it was wonderful that the State Parks took it over and helped fix the asset. It’s not really a State Park. This is more of a memorial,” Brinn Colenda with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Board said.

The memorial has a sweeping chapel and a visitor center where visitors can remember and learn.

One of the biggest changes that will take place in the next couple of years is the creation of another State Veterans Cemetery right below the hill, which will join other new veterans cemeteries being created across the state.

After the transfer, veterans also re-dedicated a Huey Helicopter just returned to the grounds from a massive restoration project by volunteers in Roswell.

The Huey is one of the iconic symbols of the war, and some of those who flew in it were present to see it live on.

The memorial will remain open to both veterans and the public on the same schedule it has been. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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