Pedagogy in the Veteran’s Memorial
In Biesecker’s article, Remembering World War II: The Rhetoric and Politics of National Commemoration at the Turn of the 21st Century, he talks about the Women in Military Service War Memorial. Not only does the memorial differ from others in the National Mall due to its recognition of women’s efforts during the wars, it also serves more as an educational piece than others. He comments that the “assemblage of image-texts is strategically engineered for particular pedagogical effect” (p. 402). This appears to be true also of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Rochester that I visited this week.
The memorial is in Highland Park. From the parking lot, you follow a path called The Walk of Honor, which takes visitors past metal bollards commemorating the 280 men from the greater Rochester area that made the ultimate sacrifice during the war. Along the way, you see The Soldier, pictured above, walking into a granite wall. Further research reveals that the symbolism is intended to portray the living veteran still in contact with the veterans that have passed through the wall. Engraved text on granite throughout the walk gives detail about the history and events leading up to and during the Vietnam War era.
Biesecker claims that the Women’s Memorial in DC “makes visible a national past” (p. 402). I would argue that the Vietnam memorial achieves this as well. Vietnam is a war that is often associated with the Forgotten War in Korea. Images and text work together to educate people and to help future generations understand the incredibly chaotic time in American history. It shows the controversy, sadness, terror and loss that occurred as a result of this war. The educational purpose of this memorial is so effective in conveying that we must not forget, but instead learn and heal. Overall, this memorial had a huge impact on me. I thought that it was very well done and highly impactful.
I am a Communication and Media Technology student. My goal is to advance my understanding of communication, especially as it relates to marketing and organizations. I am quite happy working for my department at RIT and we'll see where the future takes me! I am passionate about graphic design and hope to have opportunities to build on these skills. My family consists of my husband (a soon-to-be brewmaster) and my silly labradoodle!