Hundreds of memorial bricks bearing the names of living and fallen military veterans will be installed at an annual Brick Laying tomorrow (August 31) at 9am at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire.
The day starts with a short Blessing of the Bricks ceremony, after which participants in the Run For The Wall earlier this year—the annual cross-country motorcycle ride from California to Washington DC to honor service members listed as Missing in Action—will be joined by volunteers to lay bricks onto the Memorial Walkway.
The bricks have been pre-purchased by anyone wishing to honor a United States military veteran–living or deceased. Each brick has a story. The dates on the bricks reflect the dates of service. If there is no ending date that person is still serving. Two stars signify the person was killed in action. One star denotes missing in action.
Every year, about 400 bricks are laid during this event. The public is welcome to attend.
The ceremony also serves as a reunion for Run for the Wall motorcycle riders–many who earlier this year took one of the event’s cross-country routes through Angel Fire on their way to the annual Memorial Day Weekend ceremonies in our nation’s capital.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire was built by Albuquerque residents Victor and Jeanne Westphall in 1971 as a memorial to their son, Marine 1st Lt. David Westphall. The 28-year old was one of sixteen Marines from Bravo Company/Third Division who were killed in an ambush by North Vietnamese forces near the North/South Vietnam border on May 22, 1968.
The Monument was dedicated on the third anniversary of his death in 1971. The David Westphall Foundation was created to help operate the facility. In 2005, the Foundation donated the Memorial to the State Parks Division. Management of the Memorial was transferred to DVS in 2017