The Memory Behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
Valbuena Mesa, Unai
MetadataShow full item record
This work aims to study the memory of one of the most challenging wars in the recent history of the United States of America through the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Vietnam was not like other wars. It divided the US society like never before in the last century and showed an image of the USA that did not match the promised American values. For the first time televisions covered all the details of the nature of the war committed by the land of the free and the home of the brave. Besides, people’s anger broke up in form of the largest social protest ever seen. For those reasons, from the very beginning the memorialization of Vietnam was a delicate matter which was not exempt from polemic and incorporations. Praised by some and demonized by others, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial caused several reactions all over the US society. Therefore, this work will also focus on the answer given by four social sectors. Firstly, the Vietnam veterans, who after a long path claiming to be recognized, felt grateful to have a meaningful space in the heart of the nation to assimilate the war trauma. Secondly, this paper will continue by highlighting how the widows of the dead soldiers in Vietnam found peace in facing the lost through the memorial´s unique atmosphere. Thirdly, the undervaluing representation of women who served in favour of the USA in Vietnam and their attempt to be remembered. Fourthly, it will be discussed the irrelevancy the Vietnam Veterans Memorial meant for the African American veterans and the reasons behind it, regardless of their greater involvement in the war. Eventually, this work will be ended with a conclusion where the importance of memory will be highlighted. In order to offer the most accurate and closest approach, this study is based on a diverse list of sources. For instance, books and scientific articles have been crucial to provide an objective historical background as well as the latest conclusions. Besides, written and oral testimonies have been used as a direct source of information. In the same way, this research would not be completed without the analysis of pop culture elements such as movies, literature or music. Finally, the opinion provided by the contemporary press has likewise been checked and determinant for this paper.