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Practical Memory: Organized Veterans And The Politics Of Commemoration

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Chapter Summary

This chapter pursues two inter-related points in its discussion of the often conflicted relations between veterans, non-veterans, and the state over the modes of commemoration: first, that the British veterans? movement was to a great degree mounted as a commemorative endeavor; and second, that the movement?s concept of commemoration was much broader and more ?practical? than that implied in the prevailing modes of public memory. It stresses more on the conflicts over the subject of commemoration between organized veterans on the one hand and the state and civilians on the other. The chapter also argues that, within the veterans? movement itself, the groups? differing conceptions of the meaning and function of commemoration illuminate the points of contention between their political programs in general. Finally, it explains the veterans? movement and its counter-monumental view of commemoration, and provides a brief overview of veterans? difficult transition to civilian life.

Keywords: British veterans? movement; civilian life; commemoration; non-veterans; organized veterans; political programs; public memory



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