Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Where Are All the Veterans? Why the Vietnam Veteran Perspective is Missing from Americans' Collective Memory Public Deposited

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  • The cultural significance the Vietnam War Era had on American society and foreign affairs was extensive. Unprecedented access to direct news about war and devastation caused upheaval and confusion. Once the war ended, many Americans were eager to move on, with little processing of what happened and why. Several presidents encouraged the nation to focus on healing and moving past the war rather than understanding it, while many ordinary Americans strove to learn to forget. As a result, the nation left little time and space for veterans to readjust.

    The collective memory of the war Americans developed was jaded by media coverage of the war and popular culture. Our understanding of the war is incomplete. The missing piece in the collective memory of the war is veterans. Their experiences coming home were awkward and society was distant. There was little space in society for veterans to heal, to come together with the rest of the nation and move on from this travesty. Veterans had to seek support and understanding from each other. They had to be the curators of their readjustment and had to frame their own history in the context of the nation’s.

Date Awarded
  • 2022-04-01
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Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2022-04-20
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