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Vietnam Memorial War Memoriabilia

Essay by   •  March 6, 2011  •  663 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,446 Views

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The Vietnam Memorial Wall remains one of the most tentative and reserved memorials today not only Washington, DC, but the entirety of the United States. Created in order to remember the soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War, the memorial is meant to symbolize their honor and spirit as passed Americans and combatants. As much as a statement the memorial makes by itself, it is the endless thought and emotion that can be observed through the objects and items that have been left by its side. "The Price of Freedom: American's at War" exhibit at the National Museum of American History brings light to those objects left behind and vocalize the complex and strenuous emotions of those who left them.

Of the objects left behind, particular objects communicated specific messages for whom it was intended for, while others are left open to individual interpretation and analysis. Nevertheless, there is a lot to be said of what was left behind. Upon approaching the exhibit, the first object that I noticed was the Colt 45 beer can and the note that was left with it. After reading the note, the can of beer communicated a sense of reality from the former solider who had left it and was able to return safely. Almost immediately I could hear the conversation between the two men discussing when they returned to the United States what they would buy for one another, whether out of generosity and relief of returning home safely, or from some bet created between the two. However, as I looked carefully at the carton of Marlboro's and bottle of Jack Daniels, I felt a certain discomfort and despair on behalf of the individual who had left them. He had made home alive, however, the other individual had not.

There was also a Purple Heart that was showcased in the exhibit, which communicated the opposition towards the war and United States and government by the person who had left it. The letters that were with it described the antipathy of where the person had been left and the frustration and hostility of owning such an object. There was also the Silver Star medal, which I believe was left to honor the names on the wall as a mark of distinction and service. Whereas

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