remembering our neighbors…
Hess writes, in digital remembrance: vernacular memory and the rhetorical construction of web memorials, that “War memorials have long been considered important sites of ideological and cultural exploration.” Immediately after reading that I thought of the Vietnam memorial site in my hometown of, Geneva, NY. In fact, at first I was only really thinking of war memorials to visit, as these sites are so prominent in our society. Hess says that so much of the research about memorials has been done about war memorials. They create a sense of ‘national identity’ as we remember those who have fought and died for our country, and these spots provide us with a place to go pay our respects to those individuals.
Going along with that, Hess mentions that Atwater and Herndon say, “Physical location of each museum conveys a powerful message.” For the memorial to serve a purpose it has to be in the right location. The memorial I captured is located in Pultney Park in Geneva, and if you are familiar with the town you will recognize it as pretty much the hub, or center of town. Right between Hobart and William Smith College and downtown, on Main St, there is no missing the memorial when you drive through Geneva. The site also serves as the ending point of the annual Memorial Day parade where the whole town congregates after all the festivities have ended. The marble stone is engraved with the names of Genevians who served in the Vietnam war, those who died fighting for us. It also has a plaque honoring all the soldiers of Vietnam. For Geneva, these are heroes that we honor and recognize as family. Geneva is a very close-knit community, and this is an example of how we pay attribute to our neighbors.
On an average day I might not recognize the memorial when I am running around town, but for those who visit Geneva, they may stop and witness a little of piece of our history.