CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Dogwood Vietnam Memorial is home to 28 plaques that recognize Vietnam soldiers for the ultimate sacrifice. Saturday those soldiers, friends, peers, and the Charlottesville community came out to remember them on Veterans Day.  

“Figured I flew for 50 years, I have over 1200 hours of combat time, a commercial license, and I am still here. So, I go pay tribute to those who aren’t and that's part of it here," Dick Thompson said.

As the first Vietnam memorial in the United States, the Dogwood Memorial has been a staple monument in Charlottesville as it recognizes nearly 30 Americans who lost their lives in Vietnam. The members of the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial Foundation gathered for an open house to reflect on their time at war, which isn’t always the easiest battle. 

“Each year we have a Vietnam veteran that speaks here and it is a good way to face your demons. And for 27 years since I guess, I have been able to talk about Vietnam and share with my family and anyone that would listen really,” President of the Foundation. Bruce Eades said. 

With the memorial perched proudly off of the Route 250 bypass, the Foundation members have noticed the concern that there is no easy way to access the memorial directly. 

“We know it's a problem and so does the city, and we all realize it, so we are working together to try to resolve it,” Eades said. 

The foundation has already begun the planning for building a pedestrian bridge that would allow for more people to directly visit the memorial and read about the 28 heroes recognized there.