Veterans Memorial Park could use our help


By Terri Lynn Oldham House

“If you look at a history of your family and friends, you will likely find a father, a mother, an uncle or aunt, a nephew, niece or a friend who served their country in order to protect our way of life. You might find a veteran who, as President Lincoln said, ‘gave the last full measure of devotion’. It is time for us to honor those who served in order to ensure our safety and freedom,” reads the website for Veterans Memorial Park of Archuleta County (VMPAC). 

In 2013, a local board was formed with the mission “to develop and maintain a Memorial Park in honor of all past, present and future Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States of America; to be a place for Veterans, their families and the public to remember, reflect and contemplate the sacrifices of these individuals; and to serve as an educational venue.”

While some of the members of the board of directors of the VMPAC are also members of other local veteran organizations, the organization and its board of directors are dedicated solely to building a memorial park in Archuleta County at a 6.9-acre site located just off Vista Boulevard and are not affiliated with any other veteran organization.

The group explored options and concepts for development of the park. They identified items to be incorporated into the park — a main memorial to recognize all who have served in the military: Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine, and the following conflicts: War of Independence, War of 1812, Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq wars and Afghanistan war.

Thoughtful planning has gone toward creating a special place for veterans and community to rest, walk and contemplate. Plans include gazebos, trails, picnic areas and a pavilion. You can view a conceptual design at 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the VMPAC had to cancel its major fundraising events planned for the summer; however, they are selling beautifully engraved bricks that will become part of a permanent “honor walk” that will demonstrate the gratitude of this community to our veterans. You can purchase bricks in honor of someone living or in memory of someone who has passed. Details are available on the website at 

You can also help out by purchasing VMPAC memberships or you can make tax-deductible donations through the website or by mailing your check to Veterans Memorial Park, P.O. Box 2642, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. 

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the organization, there is also contact information available on the website.

While not yet complete, the VMPAC board invites the public to enjoy the parking lot, trails and natural beauty of the park just so long as you are practicing social distancing and respect for your fellow citizens.

You will find a rendition of a sculpture designed by board member Val Valentine when you visit the park. “Archuleta’s Blue Star Family” is the title of the sculpture with the theme of: “When a son or daughter goes off to war, the entire family goes along.” It is envisioned that this will become a more permanent sculpture constructed of wrought iron plate.

We encourage you to support this effort led by our veterans to build this unique memorial in honor of those whom we should never forget.