Friday, April 3, 2009


I love rubbing elbows with folks with fresh ideas and who read different books 'cause there are wonderful gems / truths that can now be appropriated for your own use.  Mark Kristmanson, the Director of Public Programming for the National Capital Commission in Ottawa, Canada used a great quote in his talk that needs to be shared from the French Historian / activist Marc Bloc.  Bloc said that "People tend to represent their times more than their parents".

In looking at whether to do a commemorative event, it bears keeping a keen awareness as to just who your audience may be.  In thinking about why a visitor center is needed for the Vietnam War Memorial, just think how much war a twenty year old has seen on TV: Gulf War #1, Kosovo, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan, the War in Iraq & Afganistan again.  Their sensitivies towards war is far different than those of us confronted with Vietnam and television has made it much more immediate, thus, perhaps more numbing.  So the "why a Visitor Center for the Vietnam War" may well reflect the need for it to be interpreted for the audience is a very different one.  These young people may be whom Marc Bloch was thinking about for they are far more representative of their times than their parents.
A thought,
Chuck Arning

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