On Memorial Day, Remembering

David Kurtz, writing on Talking Points Memo about finding the grave of Corporal Pearl B. Wilkerson, who was killed in action in April 1945, just before the European war ended:

But what lingers for me about Wilkerson is how Memorial Day -- for all the somber remembrances and displays of military hardware -- is a small strike against the inevitable forgetting. Poor Wilkerson got a head start on being forgotten: buried in a now-churchless cemetery with headstones knocked over and steadily sinking into the ground, near a briefly prosperous village of Irish immigrants that was long past its prime when Wilkerson died and will eventually be a nameless crossroads. His is the same fate as that of the overwhelming majority of men who ever fought and died for their clan, tribe or country. Today we acknowledge how much we've forgotten by paying homage to what we have managed to remember.
Kurtz is right, of course, but it's worth remembering [sic] that forgotten and buried--if buried at all--in an unknown, even unmarked grave has been the standard fate throughout history of those killed in war. Remembering and memorializing individual soldiers is a modern, i.e., 20th century, i.e., post-WWI practice.

Lutyens' triumphal arch tower at Thiepval was one of the first attempts to recognize all the British soldiers who died at the Somme; their names cover every available surface of the arch. From the WWI innovation of dog tags to identify the dead to our current ability to match DNA from the tiniest fragment of a fallen soldier's body, technology has rendered the idea of an unknown soldier obsolete. Perhaps it is time to switch to the Tomb of The Unremembered Soldier instead.

Gone and Largely Forgotten [tpm]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

recent projects, &c.

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016< br /> ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Mar – Dec 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space"
Mar 20 - May 8 @apexart, NYC

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99