The Issue Of Public Space

1221 Words5 Pages
Public space is a shared landscape that all citizens have the potential to encounter. These areas, especially in major cities like Philadelphia, are saturated with statues depicting historical figures and a variety of artwork. Memorials are also included in this public area and become a representation of a certain memory for the public to share. When conflicts occur, such as a major war, more than just the government and the military are involved. A nations economy is torn apart, and certain industries and their materials are focused on the war effort. Regular citizens are divided amongst a variety of conflicting ideologies concerning the war, and the entire public is usually aware of these events taking place. In order to commemorate the efforts of those who participated in the conflict, war memorials are created some time after these extreme occurrences take place. Regardless of the ethical considerations concerning America’s overall involvement in Vietnam, tens of thousands of lives were sacrificed as a result of this conflict; it is imperative that the lives of these soldiers are honored by integrating memorials within public space, understanding veteran’s ongoing struggles, and using memorials as a teaching method to spread knowledge. Within the city of Philadelphia, the “Philadelphia Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial” exists that pays tribute to those who fought in the war. The United State’s combat forces began air raiding communist territory in North and South Vietnam during the early months of 1965. This operation was overseen by President Lyndon B. Johnson after the former president, John. F. Kennedy, began decisive planning with the South Vietnamese the decade prior to the war. This conflict was primarily fought between the c... ... middle of paper ... ...s Memorial will last for longer than the lives of the soldiers who fought in Vietnam by being a solidified monument, integrated within public space. Contemporary issues will outshine past conflicts, but simply ignoring the contributions of thousands is not the answer to healing a nation after a controversial issue. It is imperative that we learn from mistakes that occurred in the past, honor those who died as a result of these past decisions, and move on as a unified nation. Memorials are appropriate in the healing process after a dreadful conflict, by teaching the public about what occurred in history. The Philadelphia Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial is a clear example of a memorial with pure intentions. The dead are honored, soldier’s commitments are remembered, and controversial issues are set aside to simply remember the Philadelphian brothers lost in the Vietnam War.
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