Redefining military memorials and commemoration and how they have changed since the 19th century with a focus on Anglo-American practice

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Levesque, J. M. André
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University College Cork
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This thesis is a study of military memorials and commemoration with a focus on Anglo-American practice. The main question is: How has history defined military memorials and commemoration and how have they changed since the 19th century. In an effort to resolve this, the work examines both historic and contemporary forms of memorials and commemoration and establishes that remembrance in sites of collective memory has been influenced by politics, conflicts and religion. Much has been written since the Great War about remembrance and memorialization; however, there is no common lexicon throughout the literature. In order to better explain and understand this complex subject, the work includes an up-to-date literature review and for the first time, terminologies are properly explained and defined. Particular attention is placed on recognizing important military legacies, being familiar with spiritual influences and identifying classic and new signs of remembrance. The thesis contends that commemoration is composed of three key principles – recognition, respect and reflection – that are intractably linked to the fabric of memorials. It also argues that it is time for the study of memorials to come of age and proposes Memorialogy as an interdisciplinary field of study of memorials and associated commemorative practices. Moreover, a more modern, adaptive, General Classification System is presented as a means of identifying and re-defining memorials according to certain groups, types and forms. Lastly, this thesis examines how peacekeeping and peace support operations are being memorialized and how the American tragic events of 11 September 2001 and the war in Afghanistan have forever changed the nature of memorials and commemoration within Canada and elsewhere. This work goes beyond what has been studied and written about over the last century and provides a deeper level of analysis and a fresh approach to understanding the field of Memorialogy.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission , Great War , Second World War , 9/11 , Afghanistan , Imperial War Graves Commission , Fabian Ware , Edwin Lutyens , Unknown Warrior , Unknown Soldier , Cross of Sacrifice , War Cross , Memorial Cross , Stone of Remembrance , Remembrance Cross , Cenotaph , Poppy , Living memorial , Static memorial , Pyramid , Obelisk , Canadian National Vimy Memorial , Memorial , Military memorial , Monument , Commemoration , Remembrance , Public memory , Collective memory , Memorialogy
Levesque, J. M. A. 2013. Redefining military memorials and commemoration and how they have changed since the 19th century with a focus on Anglo-American practice. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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