War Mall: Civic Art, Memory, and War on America’s National Public Space

Document Type

Contribution to Book

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Publication Title

Monumental Conflicts: Twentieth-Century Wars and the Evolution of Public Memory




Like many peoples, Americans remember wars and those who served and sacrificed in those conflicts in diverse ways. War memorials run the gamut of what Americans will place a name on, attach a plaque to, or erect a statue to. From highways to football stadiums, from buildings to parks—and even fountains within parks—Americans proudly make permanent remembrance of this or that war, a local regiment, or an individual who did a town proud through conspicuous action above and beyond the call of duty. Across the United States, organizations both public and private raise funds, design monuments, build them, then bask in emotional contentment that they have done right by those who fought and those who died for the nation, regardless of the righteousness of the cause or the outcome.