“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun.
This year brings a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War sponsored by the Pentagon, complete with a website, interactive videos, and a $15 million price tag for taxpayers. Cost overruns are to be expected.
Commemoration? Is that quite the right word to describe a war, particularly the Vietnam War? And so another battle in this war has been opened, this time a battle around memory—one that has implications for us all.
A Pentagon spokesman described the event’s mission as helping “assist a grateful nation” to thank veterans and their families. A sort of major-league, “Thank you for your service.”