Wednesday, November 13, 2019

On Wartime and Postwar Commemoration :: essays research papers fc

Commemorating the actions of those who served in World War I took many forms in its attempt to ease the suffering and losses inflicted by the war. The creation of memorials served several purposes and with time, the meanings associated with them changed, as did the purposes with which they served. Support groups were formed to aid those in need whose lives became radically changed by the war, and in an effort to commemorate their service. Without aleving the pain completely, commemoration served to ease the tremendous burden of guilt, sorrow, and responsibility to those whose lives were now changed forever. World War I memorials generally fell into three separate categories based upon the time of their creation. The first type of memorials were those which were created in the years preceding 1918. These memorials scattered the landscape and were created and developed at the community level. The erection of commemorative memorials to the war served as a unifying symbol of the community spirit and as a centerpiece with which to rally around. They also served as a physical statement against those who may offer dissenting opinions as to the communities involvement in the war effort. The moral high ground was thus established in the symbolism of a united effort. They also served to support the community's brave young men who were off fighting gallantly for the security and preservation of it's ideals and in essence the community itself. Local memorials also served to inspire and motivate those who labored in industry dedicated to the war effort. It created a sense of purpose and a realization that what they were working for had a larger meaning and purpose. Local war memorials also served as rallying points for the enlistment of soldiers. The statuesque soldier brazenly dashing to war was accompanied with listings of locals who had enlisted. This inspired even greater enlistment while creating a public record of scorn to those who chose to ignore their "duty." As the war continued past a glorious moment and quick victory, the memorials took on more of a role of a museum. The collection of combat memorabilia increased. Photographs, books, and art describing the war continued. Descriptions of the weapons of war and the style of warfare that was taking place on the front lines was requested, however in order to preserve the dignity of the war, a good deal of censorship was practiced. Accounts of the brutality were circulating back to the homefront through letters and personal accounts of those who had returned. Government regulation of the memorials however, determined that in order to maintain support for the war and to quell opposition to the countries war efforts, the

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