Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vietnam Memorial-Angel Fire, New Mexico

During this holy season of Easter and Passover, I'd like to dedicate today's post to those men and women who have served in Vietnam and will not be here to enjoy the holidays with their families.

Partially covered in snow, the Vietnam Memorial  near Angel Fire, New Mexico, is a strikingly, stark building which is sobering to view and experience. On the grounds are a  helicopter used during the war and a statue of a young soldier writing home. Objects in the small chapel have been left by loved ones.

At the sight of the heavenly throne
Ezekiel fell on his face,
but the voice of God
commanded, "Son of man, stand
upon your feet and I will speak with you."

 If we are to
stand on our feet in the
presence of God, what, then,
is one man that he should
debase the dignity of another?

by David Westphall, inscribed on the wall of the chapel.

To read a personal story and more photos about the memorial, how and why it was established by one set of grieving parents, click here.


  1. It looks as though there are no sharp edges to this memorial. I like the fact that is dedicated to veterans of both sides.

  2. Wonderful tribute, Kate! And a most needed word to end this post: PAZ!

  3. I missed Vietnam due to my age and marital condition, but I've studied the war extensively and taught it for a number of years. It was incredibly stupid, fought primarily for our thirst for oil, as was Bush's Iraqi war.

    But the men and women in Vietnam bore the brunt of the stupidity...58,000 plus dying for no cause and those who survived arrived home to face derision and scorn. The Vietnamese suffered much more severely, with millions dying in both north and south.

    There need to be many more "memorials" like this across the land to keep us aware of the futility of the human propensity to make war among ourselves.

  4. Very nice post Kate. I hope you have a Happy Easter Day!

  5. Wonderful post.

    A similar statue today would show a soldier on an email or blackberry writing home.

    I heard a story on NPR the day before yesterday about an artist who is a Vietnam Veteran who used to do celebrity portraits, gained fame do it, then was asked by a mother how much he would charge to do drawing of her son who died in Iraq. As a veteran, he said he would do it for free. When he received her heartfelt thanks after he delivered the work of art, he quit his regular art career and formed a non-profit and all he does now are portraits for the families of fallen veterans.

  6. Very sobering Kate. I think most people in the US who were around at that time know someone who didn't come back.
    Have a beautiful Easter.

  7. A nice tribute. It is important to remember.

  8. Beautiful and thoughtful post. Have a peaceful Easter.

  9. Strongly reminiscent of Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp.

    PS We missed an anniversary on 4 March - first time we encountered each other's blogs

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