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Making sense of remembrance

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In recent years the annual cycle of war remembrance in Britain has been punctuated by major anniversaries and the inauguration of new war memorials. This paper explores whether time and forgetfulness are gradually eroding the power of twentieth century war memorials as traces of memory in the everyday landscape. It finds that at least some war memorials are retaining their significance and even evolving new significance as time passes. The paper considers how the sensuous and spectacular nature of war remembrance has contributed to this process and draws attention to the centrality of sight, sound and touch to remembrance activities. Case studies are then used to explore how war memorials in specific localities provide a locus for making sense of remembrance in the twenty-first century.

Keywords: everyday; memory; remembrance; war memorial

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: GEMRU University of Gloucestershire Francis Close Hall, Swindon Road Cheltenham GL50 4AZ UK

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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