New Mexico November 11, 2016
Pay Tribute To America’s Heroes At These 5 New Mexico Sites This Veteran’s Day
On Veterans Day we honor the American heroes who have served in our armed forces. If you’d like to pay tribute to these brave men and women – on any day of the year – here are 5 places in New Mexico that you should visit.
1. Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Angel Fire
This memorial, which is now a state park, was created by Victor and Jeanne Westphall in 1968. It was built to honor the memory of their son, Lt. David Westphall, who died in Vietnam. This moving tribute was one of the first memorials of its kind and it is dedicated to all Vietnam veterans.
The setting for this state park is serene. The contrast between the natural beauty found here and the sacrifices commemorated makes the memorial even more poignant.
A collection of photos and memorabilia, along with a movie, provide information about the Vietnam War.
A Huey helicopter, which was used in a rescue operation in Vietnam, appears poised to take off.
This state park is located at 34 Country Club Road in Angel Fire.
2. Navajo Code Talker Museum, Gallup
The Gallup-McKinley County Chamber of Commerce houses this small but fascinating display that honors the role Navajo Code Talkers played in securing an Allied victory in World War II.
Navajo code talkers were integral to U.S. success in the Battle of Iwo Jima. To this day, this is the only oral military code never to have been decrypted.
The museum is located at 103 W Historic Highway 66 in Gallup.
3. Veterans Memorial Park, Las Cruces
The Veterans Memorial Wall in this park displays 8,188 names of veterans from Doña Ana County who served in many different conflicts, from the Civil War onwards.
A walking path connects three more memorials (for the Korean War, Marine Corps League, and the Disabled American Veterans), with additional memorials planned for the future.
The park also contains a Bataan Death March Memorial.
It is located on N Roadrunner Parkway in Las Cruces.
4. New Mexico Veterans Memorial, Albuquerque
You can tell that this park was planned with great care. The tranquil grounds cover 25 acres, set against the backdrop of the Sandia Mountains.
The design expresses the common experiences that our veterans share, regardless of the war in which they served.
The memorial rose garden features 400 bushes - many of these produce “peace” roses. (Pictured is the 44th Army Band, performing near the roses.)
The park includes a small museum and an amphitheater as well. The complex is larger than many expect.
Here is a map.
New Mexico Veterans Memorial can be found at 1100 Louisiana Boulevard SE in Albuquerque.
5. New Mexico National Guard Museum, Santa Fe
This underrated museum displays items relating to the history of the National Guard, from the 19th century up to the present day.
Exhibits include uniforms, weapons, historical photographs, and a large collection of military patches. There are also military vehicles on display, including this Harley Davidson from World War I.
The museum places particular emphasis on the Bataan Death March.
After U.S. and Filipino soldiers lost the Bataan Peninsula, the Japanese forced the POWs on a 65-mile march without water, which resulted in 1,000 American and 9,000 Filipino deaths. Many of the POWs who lived through the march perished due to the inhumane conditions in the Japanese confinement camps. A significant number of these men came from New Mexico.
The New Mexico National Guard Museum is at 1050 Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe.
Which of these parks or museums have you visited?
Have you or has anyone in your family served in our armed forces? Tell us about the heroes in your life on the
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