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This image depicts the memorial at the Henrietta Veterans Memorial park, dedicated to the five branches of the armed forces. Biesecker states, “Collective memory per se is neither necessarily conservative nor innovative in force. Instead, the political entailments of collective memory are an effect of what and how we remember, and the uses to which those memories are put” (406). This is reflected in the monument itself, as the script reads: “They fought their battle like most of us, and we have not been untouched by what they did. Let them lie forever in peace. For those who are willing to defend it, freedom has a sweet taste that the protected will never know.” This inscription brings no new light to what the soldiers were fighting for. Rather, it oversimplifies that everyone had a hard battle to fight, but implies that those memories are not as relevant to the civilian population, simply because they have not been on the front lines of a fight for freedom.

The memorial does not distinguish between gender or race of those who served. But, the memorial itself puts the fighters on a pedestal by implying those who have not fought do not truly understand how precious freedom is. We are all grateful, but the inscription seems to be a way to draw in those who have not fought, to make them desirous of being on the knowing end through fighting with the armed forces.

Liz

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Anna Standig
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