It behooves Americans not only to pause and consider their war dead, even if just doing so by pondering the anonymous tale of a single lapidary name, but also to think about a contemporary society where the whole concept of such binding sacrifice is equally dead.
The memorial contains soil, held all these years, from battlefields of previous wars. It is in a compartment that, as one report put it, "can be reopened as needed to add soil from Afghanistan and Iraq and future wars."
Apparently, scientific information, no matter how solid, is unable to persuade a good many people of the reality of climate change. At the same time we're finding that less objective (and less scientifically valid) types of information can affect people's views.
Sometimes you need a new perspective on things to see them clearly. Take the Chicago River. Many of us interact with it on a daily basis, but in a passive manner. And, yet when we do pay attention, we don't think of the river as a resource.
What was considered so important for artists to know back then now seems vaguely irrelevant. These days, the focus of artist-as-businessperson workshops and classes is not how to apply for money but how to earn it -- how to be entrepreneurial.
The Museum of Chinese in America provides a model and inspiration for all other organizations of color. While building an individual donor effort is not easy and takes time and discipline, it can be accomplished, even by a modestly-sized, culturally-specific museum.
No one critic can make proclamations concerning whether a memorial site succeeds in mitigating the lingering trauma and loss of a violent cataclysm for the public. Spiritual sustenance and healing is exceedingly personal.
The current fight over the building of an Islamic study center near Ground Zero here in Manhattan is reminiscent of another battle nearly thirty years ago over a Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.