Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day offer special opportunities to remember those who have served our country. Arizona and New Mexico have several monuments and tranquil retreats where you can honor the courage of America’s veterans.
In southern Arizona, Ajo is home to the simple, yet meaningful Korean War Memorial. The small community dedicated the memorial in 1992 to honor four brave men from Ajo who gave their lives. Located about 38 miles north of the Mexican border, the memorial is a peaceful place where you can read the engraved names of the soldiers. Phoenix’s Arizona Korean War Memorial also honors hometown heroes of the Korean War. The memorial features bronze plaques listing the names of 280 Arizonans killed overseas. The quiet grounds include flags, trees and plenty of places to sit and reflect. To see pictures of these Arizona monuments, visit www.koreanwar-educator.org/memorials/az/index.htm.
The New Mexico Veterans Memorial
, in Albuquerque, is a beautiful place to pay tribute to the brave soldiers of past and present. Read the names etched into the brick walkway and have a moment of silence in the Memorial Rose Garden. At the visitors center, museum and amphitheater, you’ll learn all about the state’s veterans who have served during both wartime and periods of peace. Admission is free; check out www.nmvetsmemorial.org for more information.
At Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park in Angel Fire, New Mexico, visitors will find beautiful natural surroundings, as well as the inspiring Memorial Peace and Brotherhood Chapel. The memorial was built by the David Westphall Veterans Foundation, a group founded in honor of U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant Victor David Westphall III, who died in the Vietnam War. His parents, Jeanne and Dr. Victor Westphall, created the foundation and chapel, and today, Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park is the only state park dedicated exclusively to veterans of the Vietnam War. In the Media Room, you can watch the riveting film Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam. At the gift shop, pick up a flag, book or patch that you can display proudly. Read more about this tranquil place at www.vietnamveteransmemorial.org.
Whether you, a friend or a family member proudly served in the armed forces, or you just want to pay your respects to the millions of brave American veterans, Arizona and New Mexico offer plenty of memorials and monuments. Go to www.arizonaguide.com and www.newmexico.org for further information.