Abstract

Since its fiftieth anniversary, memorialization of the Korean War has taken place in towns and cities across the United States. As a case study of this belated memory boom, this essay looks at the Utah Korean War Memorial, erected by local veterans in 2003 at Memory Grove Park, Salt Lake City. Situated in both the local and national contexts of remembrance, the memorial resonates largely with three mythical scripts, with themes of resilience, local pride, and the good war, all of which have allowed veterans to negotiate tensions between individual and collective memories. This case study reveals in particular how the official commemoration of the war has shifted local veterans' rhetorical positions from potential witnesses of subversive realities of the war to uncritical negotiators whose legitimization of the very process of mythologizing memories has ultimately alienated them from their own experiences during and after the war.

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