"We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning": New memorial in San Francisco's Civic Center

October 23, 2014 6:52 PM

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I was at the War Memorial Opera House recently, watching a fine production of Verdi's Un Ballo in Masquera with my friend Karen, and during one of the intermissions, we went outside to look at the new war memorial. It's in that peaceful grassy courtyard between the opera house and the War Memorial Veterans Building. Funny to think that all these years--the paired Beaux Arts buildings opened in 1932--these structures with the term war memorial in their names have never had one.

Frankly, I didn't care: I'm not one for glorifying war, which in my opinion is pretty much what such statues and commemorative plaques, with their emphasis on patriotic heroism, do. Maya Lin's extremely moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in Washington, D.C.--a simple black granite V-shaped wall on wh...

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