One of the less obvious or ostentatious sights one comes across while traveling in the United States are war memorials. They’re usually not very tall or located close to foot traffic but tucked away in a quiet city or suburban park, or on the side of a road. Naturally they are dedicated to the dead, but today that fails to encapsulate what has really been lost.
The soldiers who fought in most of this country’s wars are long gone, but implicitly their contemporaries as well. That is the passage of time. What is not the passage of time but rather immense and top-down enforced change is that the communities which fielded these soldiers and for whom the various monuments and memorials were built, are gone.
You can go to any city or town and you will often find that ethnic succession, enabled by the 1965 immigration law, has taken place. A neighborhood of foreigners surrounds a war memorial to dead White men. It means absolutely nothing to them and in time it will grow increasingly neglected. That’s not to say the communities that that these memorials were for have died out, but their members have become dispersed into the country. The descendants of these soldiers’ families gain nothing from these memorials, and neither do the people currently living among the ruins.
As time goes on and if our dispossession continues, this slight will become even more common, a potent symbol of our decline. One of a nationalistic persuasion can only look upon these monuments and despair.