Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Visitors Center

Angel Fire, New Mexico


Member Phil Ferrara’s comments regarding his recent visit:

Dear Fellow MRFA members:

I would like to share this information with you that I learned while on a vacation trip this summer, because the Vietnam War was the major focus of our service time.

Linda and I just returned from nearly three weeks of visiting a dozen National Park Service sites plus other historic places in New Mexico and Arizona. While on our travels, we stopped in Angel Fire , New Mexico , to tour the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Visitors Center. During the 1980’s then President Reagan declared the site a National Landmark.

Angel.FireOn July 17th, 2003, we drove 30 miles east from Taos , New Mexico, to visit this Memorial. It was a meaningful and interesting two hour visit at the memorial chapel and the museum. The museum was a very professional level quality exhibit that chronicled the Vietnam war and its veterans from all the Armed Forces. The chapel is an inspirational structure that is tastefully located on a hillside overlooking the valley of the Angel Fire ski resort and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It is intended as a non-denominational place for contemplation. This entire Memorial is the gift and the work of Dr. Victor Westphall and his family .

Linda and I had the honor and pleasure of meeting and speaking briefly with Dr. Westphall in his private office at the museum. His son, David, a Marine First Lieutenant, died in combat in Vietnam in 1968, and Dr. Westphall completed this memorial in 1971 to honor all Veterans .

The Visitors Center is open at 9 AM , seven days per week, and the Chapel is open 24 hours daily. The phone number is 505-377-6900. The website is

Angel Fire, New Mexico, can be reached easily by road from Taos or Sante Fe. For those who travel by RV, there are ample RV recreational destinations in the area. For those with private pilot capability, there is a 6000 foot private airport runway across the main road from the Memorial. For those who ski, Angel Fire looks like it might be a nice destination for your next ski trip.

If I can answer any MRFA member’s questions about the Memorial, please do not hesitate to call me. To those who might be interested, I recommend a visit if convenient.

Phil Ferrara
Former COMRIVDIV 151