The GWOT Theme Park Experience

This is brought to you by the author having been subjected to two World War II airborne "experiences" in this year alone, which made them wonder if someone would ever try to encapsulate and commercialize the GWOT experience. This is a work of snark and should not be interpreted seriously. However, if someone does actually …

American War and American Memory

Collective memory is a fascinating thing. "Never forget." That's a phrase that we often hear associated with things like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, usually splashed across social media pages on the anniversary of those days. Or maybe there are calls to never forget the sacrifices at Normandy or Bastogne. These national calls for memory tend …

“We believe in making treason odious:” U.S. Veterans of the Civil War Attack the Lost Cause

It was 1866, and the men of the US Army, Navy, and Marines had destroyed the rebellion on the battlefield and ushered in a "new birth of freedom." Their work done, they hoped to return to lives filled with the fruits of their blood and toil. That year, they formed a veterans' organization called "The …

A Tarnished Legacy: Confederate Battle Honors and the Army National Guard

On July 18, 2020, an African-American woman took command of a military unit that once used to be part of rebel general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's famous "Stonewall Brigade." Captain Candice Bowen became the first woman to command an infantry company in the Virginia National Guard, assuming command of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment. …

In an American Cemetery in France: Thoughts on Memorial Day

A gentle breeze slipped past the gravestones near me, rustling the slim folds of the American flag overhead, tapping the fasteners against the pole in a metallic rhythm. Aside from our low voices, the soft sounds of insects and birds, and the occasional passing car, it was the only sound to be heard. We were …

A Murky Heritage: the U.S. Army, the Civil War, and Memory

"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar." - Julius Caesar Memory is an odd thing. It affects not only people, but whole societies and cultures. Take the memory of the U.S. …

Drawn to the Battlefield

So I'm driving right now,  heading up the road from the National Capital Region, and I see on my left the long lines of marching hills. Treetopped ranks stretching into the distance. The South Mountain Range. Home of so much of what I've studied in war, in history, and culture; and suddenly my heart seems …

Guest Post: a Current Officer’s Thoughts on Robert E. Lee

By Butters' Bars In the aftermath of the abhorrent racism and bigotry put on display in Charlottesville, Virginia three weeks ago, it is easy to lose sight of the root cause of this violent outburst. The question at the center of Charlottesville is whether or not General Robert E. Lee, most famous for his role …

Remembering Pain: 9/11 and Collective Memory

Edited September 11, 2016. We were¬†fifteen. The colors in the trees reflected summer, not autumn, although the air held a fall crispness. We were at home, which for us who were homeschooled, meant we were at school. We wanted the work to be done so that we could run off to read, or play computer …

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