Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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WW II Memorial

Charles Krauthammer is very critical of the Memorial: "The good news is that the Mall survives. The bad news is that for all its attempted monumentality, the memorial is deeply inadequate -- a busy vacuity, hollow to the core.

The memorial is a parenthesis, quite literally so -- two semicircular assemblies of pillars cupping the Rainbow Pool on the invisible axis that connects the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument." Catesby Leigh is also critical of the architecture. And Ken Masugi says this: "Yet, despite the failure of the memorial as architecture the fact that it will for a few years more attract living memorials gives it a dignity that cannot be lost over time. (Compare the architecturally hideous Vietnam memorial.) Speaking with veterans is a moving experience whose educational impact transcends the failed efforts of the architect."

Discussions - 1 Comment

Ken raised a very interesting point that has upset me a great deal as the Memorial has been made public. He points out that it undermines federalism to include the territories and Washington, D.C. in the pillars. I agree, and just also find it downright annoying. We are a nation of fifty states with fifty stars on our flag. There is something that also just seems symmetrical about fifty states as well. One might raise the point that Hawaii and Alaska were not states during World War II, yet the larger point is that the U.S. fought as a united Union. Washington, D.C.??? I’m sorry to offend all those Washingtonians who are trying to attain statehood and feel taxed without representation, but too bad. D.C. was not a state, has a unique status, and deal with it. The other territories - let me see, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Philippines (any others?) - do we really need to include them as well? That is not to denigrate the horrible suffering of the Bataan Death March at the hands of the Japanese Empire, but this is an American memorial celebrating the honor, heroism, and sacrifice of the boys on Normandy and Iwo Jima, etc., from the fifty states of the United States of America. In our effort at self-flagellation, maybe we should have some plaques to the people of Dresden, Tokyo, and Hiroshima, and maybe even some of those poor fascists while we’re at it. I am certainly delving into the absurd right now, but it really bothers me that a memorial dedicated to the "greatest generation" is tainted with the foul taste of political correctness.

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