Research trip to Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg, the United States, June-July 2013
Mads Daugbjerg visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to witness the town’s massive 150th commemoration of the famous battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War, including taking part in the huge historical reenactment of the battle on the outskirts of town.
The meanings of Gettysburg are still hotly contested in the US, and perspectives on the value and ‘lessons’ of the 1863 battle and the Civil War in general are by no means settled.
The Gettysburg trip was combined with a visit to the US capital, including visits to various history museums dealing with war as theme and problem, and to the memorial landscape on Washington D.C.’s symbolic Mall.
In these US contexts, the linkages between warfare, sacrifice and homeland are explicitly celebrated in a display of patriotism and veneration for the armed forces that differ markedly from the much more reserved, ambivalent and convoluted ways of remembering war that characterise most European museums and memorials.
To see more pictures from the war commemoration and memorials go to the facebook profile of the Department.