ABOUT THE MEMORIAL

Frequent Asked Questions

What is the name of the movie that is playing in the Media Room? Is it available for purchase in the Gift Shop?

The movie is called Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam. No, we do not sell the movie here as it is copyrighted to HBO. It can be purchased online at the HBO website, Amazon.com, or other sites where DVDs are sold. It can also be rented through Netflix. 

 

Are the posters on display in the Veterans' Room for sale?

No. Only those posters that are actually marked in the Gift Shop are for sale. Information about posters can usually be found at the bottom of the poster.

 

Is Dr. Westphall still alive?

No, he passed away in 2003. He and his wife Jeanne are buried here on the grounds. Their son, David, is buried at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM. 

 

What is the purpose of this memorial?

Our purpose is to honor all veterans, especially those who fought in Vietnam, and to help promote healing and education.

 

Who designed the Chapel?

Dr. Westphall contacted Santa Fe architect Ted Luna to help him complete the design.

 

When did the construction of the Chapel begin? When was the Visitor Center built?

Construction on the Peace and Brotherhood Chapel was started in the fall of 1968. The Chapel was dedicated on May 22, 1971, the anniversary of David Westphall's death. The Disabled American Veterans Organization began construction on the Visitor Center in 1985. The Center was dedicated in 1986.

 

Why was the Chapel built here?

The Westphalls owned the Val Verde Ranch and had planned on developing it into a resort. When their son, David, was killed, the site was chosen because of a haunting similarity to a place in David's favorite childhood book Wings For Per. 

 

What are your business hours?

The Visitors Center is open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Chapel is always open.

 

What are all the bricks with names outside?

Those bricks are part of our Veterans Walkway. The project was started in 2007 as a way to help the Foundation raise funds. A brick can be bought online, at the Memorial Gift Shop, by mail or phone for any veteran deceased, retired, or still actively serving. 

 

Where do the donated funds go?

The funds go to the David Westphall Veterans Foundation, a non-profit organization, which is a support partner of the park. The Foundation contributes a portion of donations to the State so that there is no admission fee charged, as it is at all other parks. 

 

What is the State's role in the Memorial?

The State provides operational support, including building and grounds maintenance and capital improvements. They also provide educational programs at the park.

 

I have a suggestion, comment or complaint. Who do I talk to about it?

You can Contact Us by email. There is also a suggestion box located in the lobby of the Visitor Center. Just fill out the form that has been provided and be sure to leave either your name and address, phone number, or an email address where you can be contacted.

 

A few years ago I donated an object for one of the displays but I can't seem to find it in any of the cases. Do you know where it is?

Unfortunately, if you do not see the object in one of the cases, it is because it is in storage. We have prepared rotating exhibits that will eventually display the entire collection. So, if you don't see your donation now, chances are it will be on display at some point in the future.