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Memorials and Remembering the Past

The 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
The 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

In an essay for Time magazine, Furman graduate Claire Greenstein reflects about whether constructing memorials for tragic events is a positive and significant step toward remembrance. She writes: “Remembering can be controversial. For the past 13 years, Americans have gathered at Ground Zero in New York on 9/11. Nothing too scandalous there. But that act became tendentious when we built a memorial—and then, this year, a museum—to recall the tragedy.”  She concludes that “memorials are powerful reminders that the darker chapters of the past mustn’t be repeated.”

Greenstein, who graduated summa cum laude from Furman in 2011 with a degree in Political Science and German, is a Ph.D. student in comparative politics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her senior honors essay at Furman was about the politics of creating the Holocaust memorial in Germany and the memorial for the Roma and Sinti who were murdered in Europe. The Time piece originally appeared on The Weekly Wonk.

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