Beyond the Traditional Essay: Remembering an Event

Beyond the Traditional Essay: Remembering an Event

Our culture commemorates events in many ways that are likely familiar to you. Physical memorials such as statues, plaques, monu- ments, and buildings are traditional means of ensuring that important events remain in our collective memory: Relatively recent examples include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the planned commem- orative complex at the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack in New York City. Though such memorials function primarily visually, rather than textually, they can also be seen to exhibit the basic features we’ve discussed in essays remembering an event. The Vietnam memorial is a dramatic, V-shaped black gran- ite wall partly embedded in the earth, which

reflects the images of visitors reading the names of the dead and missing inscribed there; the names are presented in chronological order, telling the story of the con-

“Beyond the Traditional Essay” sections provide examples of that chapter’s genre of writing drawn from unexpected contexts — advertising, blogs, museums, even public parks.

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