The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, originally known as the Vietnam Veterans Peace and Brotherhood Chapel, developed as a memorial by Jeanne and Dr. Victor Westphall following the death of their son, U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant Victor David Westphall III to honor the memory of their son and the men that died with him near Con Thien, South Vietnam on May 22, 1968.
In addition, they created the David Westphall Veterans Foundation which honors America's veterans and members of its military forces by memorializing the sacrifices they have made and by recognizing the sense of duty and the courage they have displayed as they answered their country's call to arms. This is achieved by supporting the mission of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; providing a memorial to veterans; a Visitors Center that serves as a place for reunion, reflection, healing, and sharing of experiences; for educational displays; for Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies; and as a venue for other patriotic events.
A chapel for veterans to feel a place of peace, honor, and comfort. Photos that are displayed of 13 dead or missing Vietnam Veterans which is rotated every month.
Veterans Memorial Walkway, Bell Uroquois UH-1 (Huey) which saw action in Vietnam, life size sculpture, Hill of Angels marker, Flag Triad, the Gardens, and amphitheater.
Educational displays about the Vietnam War, video room, library, gift shop, offices, and restrooms.
One of the most moving displays wihtin the Visitor Center is the Missing Man Table & Honors Ceremony:
The table is round - to show our everlasting concern.
The cloth is white - symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve.
The single red rose reminds us of the lives of these Americans...and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, while seeking answers.
The yellow ribbon symbolizes our continuing uncertainty, the hope for their return, and our determination to account for them.
A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate, captured and missing in a foreign land.
A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families - who long for answers after decades of uncertainty.
The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return - alive or dead.
The Bible represents the strength gained through faith, to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one Nation under God.
The glass is inverted - symbolizing their inability to share a toast.