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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.




Your mention about physical location conveying a message has me wondering about my own post, which coincidentally was also a Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The central location for the memorial you mention in Geneva makes me wonder if similar considerations were made about the one in Highland Park. Since the memorial serves to pay tribute to Rochester Veterans, maybe the downtown location is significant in that it is placed centrally among the Rochester community. Interesting to consider!


Wow! Everyone is writing such moving posts this week. Perhaps it is because many prominent memorials are commemorating the brave men and women who have fought and died for this country. It is so interesting and quite special each memorial, particularly for our service men and women are. Not to get political…but with the current climate surrounding the war in Afghanistan, it is often disheartening to me that I just don’t feel like people take time to appreciate our soldiers and the sacrifice that those in the past and present are making to keep this country safe. I wish that more war memorials in our towns were right in the center like yours is in Geneva because I agree completely with Hess in that the location means everything. We as a nation value and honor the lives lost in WWII and thus, the central location of the WWII memorial in D.C. that Biesecker somewhat criticizes is a little puzzling to me…


Lauren, I like how you took multiple photos of the memorial. It brings more meaning and understanding of the memorial you visited. It made me think of the location of my illustration- the George Eastman memorial was so hidden and hard to find. I should have mentioned that!

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