Constructed by the family of Dr. Victor Westphall, whose son was killed in a 1968 enemy ambush in Vietnam, the shrine was completed in 1971. It is supported through the generosity of veterans and other Americans who are dedicated to its preservation.
The memorial’s textured surface captures the constantly changing sunlight of the clear New Mexico mountain air, giving it’s walls a subtle play of color that grows vivid at sunrise and sunset. Inside the memorial, the curving walls enclose a nondenominational chapel and lead to a tall, narrow window through which visitors look across the tranquil Moreno Valley.
The Visitor Center is open year-round, seven days a week. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, our hours are 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. During the Winter months the center is open 9 to 5. The chapel is open year-round, 24 hours a day. The Visitor’s Center includes a history of conflict display, with videos and memorabilia. Veterans can use on-site computers to get information about loved ones. Volunteers are available at the memorial to assist veterans and other visitors with personal issues; and educational tours for schools, churches and veteran groups are also available.
The Vietnam Veterans National Memorial is located within the Enchanted Circle of Northern New Mexico and is accessed via excellent federal and state highways through scenic high desert and high alpine environments. The Memorial is at 8500 feet above sea level and is just five minutes from the slopes of Angel Fire Ski Resort. It is approximately 30 miles from Taos, 95 miles from Santa Fe, and 155 miles from Albuquerque.