Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Vietnam memorial was completed in 1982 as an echo for all those that gave their lives for service in Vietnam. What’s equally special about this memorial is that there is no indication of difference or change and that all those that fought in the war were equal, all were soldiers, all were American. In the move ‘We were soldiers’ released in 2002, Mel Gibson’s character ‘Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore’ gives a interesting and touching speech that links with this notion. (

Upon visiting the memorial a few times myself, I find this, along with others throughout the Washington National Mall to be strong, touching and emotional. Whilst walking towards the memorial itself, there are books with the full names of those that served in Vietnam as well as all those that gave their lives for a cause that was under much scrutiny back home in the United States. I find it hard during every visit to walk along the memorial, seeing others doing the same, perhaps with the knowledge of ancestors or loved ones that gave their lives to contribute to the war.

I found this interesting website for the memorial when doing a Google search that is a testament to all those that served and gave their lives while serving.

When thinking of what effects the Vietnam War had on Americans, I feel that the representations are often found in media sources such as film and television however I feel true thoughts can often be found best in lyrics. Just Google Vietnam War music into Google and a whole host of music will appear giving individuals’ perceptions and their views on the war. For the second week running my input will be a song by Metallica in their song ‘Disposable Heroes’ from their 1986 Master of Puppets album. Metallica often keep to a tradition of featuring a war song on every album so this song was no exception. The lyrics echo a soldier’s thoughts, actions and experiences while on the war front. The song bases itself from the soldiers view however during the chorus lyrics we get the impression of the worlds given from his commanding officers. The song goes into detail on the helplessness and dehumanising conditions of war and his feel of lack of worth and meaning. During the chorus we hear the demining words of a second person who we assume is like the “Puppet Master”, “You will do what I say, when I say, back to the front!” and “You will die, when I say” the song represents a wider issue of that of a solider fighting during the Vietnam War. By the end of the song the solder has given up, emotionally and accepts his fate.

Looking over both points of research it’s clear that there was a feel during the 1980’s of moaning towards what had happened during the previous few decades and a sense that these should be remembered.

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