Abstract

This article examines plans for “The Education Center at The Wall,” a new facility on the National Mall that will present the history of the Vietnam War as a series of military engagements devoid of political opposition. I argue that this commemorative site promises the intellectual weight of a museum while providing only the emotional impact of a patriotic shrine. By focusing on individual acts of heroism and sacrifice by American soldiers, the Education Center will enable visitors to re-imagine the Vietnam War, which was once regarded as an American tragedy, as both a “good war” and the ennobling “lost cause” of the twentieth century.

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