Monument or memorial? Defeat or withdrawal? The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC pays tribute to more than 58,000 Americans who died fighting an unpopular war. Yet today the ‘Wall’, as it is known to most Americans, is the most visited site managed by the US National Park Service. Weekend visitors will happen upon an almost festive place as thousands of people pass by looking at the names – what do they think, imagine? This chapter discusses not only the story and controversy behind the building of the ‘Wall’, but also how it reflects the collective memory of a society and its values, and how these are constructed.
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DOI 10.5871/bacad/9780197264669.003.0008
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