It’s Memorial Day, a time to remember the men and women who fought and died in military service to the United States. Today on Word of Mouth: those who take remembrance to the next level: the re-enactors. In 1986 there were an estimated 50,000 Civil War re-enactors in the U.S. Since 2000 their ranks have been cut in half. We’ll find out what’s at the root of the secession, and what drives someone to take on the identity of a 19th century solider. Plus, the founder of the Veterans Writing Project talks about harnessing the power of prose to cope with the hidden wounds of war. And, we’ll explore the psychic wounds veterans carry. We’ll talk to an officer who couldn’t forget the horrors of war.
Memorial Day is probably the most archives-centric holiday in the year. While many holidays are a flush of personal memories and family traditions, Memorial Day is more about our collective memory as fellow countrymen. And archives are a conduit to our collective memory.