Monday, May 30, 2011

War memorials for the 21st century

Walk with a child on the Mall in Washington DC and it is easy to explain America's wars as enshrined by the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial. Walk to the Korean War Memorial and it becomes a little more difficult to explain that part of American history, but it is still possible. Walk now to the Vietnam War Memorial and try and explain that Wall and her names to a child. Purposeless is the honest answer.

We will have a memorial one day to these wars of the early 21st century. If built today nearly 6,000 names would appear. Many thousands more will be remembered if we justly and honorably include those whose lives ended at home by their own hand because they returned from war desolately changed and traumatically ill.

Iraq Vet, Marine, and former Foreign Service officer Matthew Hoh

How many more dead must we erect memorials for? For what purpose?

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