by Ronny Ymbras, Matt Ymbras, & Eric Rovelto,
Poughkeepsie: RU Airborne, 2016. Pp. 268.
Illus. $34.85. ISBN: 0692605312
Memorializing the Vietnam War
Fallen gives us an interesting, very attractive look at how communities, states, and the nation as a whole have memorialized the Vietnam War.
The book consists of a series of sections. Fifty of these cover the states. For each state, a single memorial has been selected to help illustrate how the state commemorates the war and those of its citizens daughters who served. In some instances it’s the official state memorial that is discussed, while at while in other instances the memorial examined, be it of a city, town, or particular region of the state. There are also sections on Washington, D.C., and the “Travelling Wall,” and a shorter one on the fallen from the several U.S. territories. Each section has a short discussion of the site, and well illustrated, and then a list of the fallen from the state.
The memorials are surprisingly varied. Some are simple, some are elegant constructs in marble or granite, others elaborate plazas or parks, and so forth. Some embody artifacts from the war, many have statues, some symbolic and others realistic. Most of the monuments list those who died.
While it’s unfortunate the authors did not say more about memorialization in the territories, some of which suffered out of proportion to their population, this is an excellent overview of the many ways in which American communities have sought to remember the Vietnam War,
Fallen will have particular value for veterans, and will be interest to students of war and those interested in memory and memorialization, as well as the general reader.