Kirk Savage in The Washington Post, On Monuments and Violence

KirkNov2007Author Kirk Savage was in Washington, D.C. on June 10, when, it is alleged, a gunman entered the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and fired shots, killing a security guard. Savage, who had planned to visit the museum with his family on that day, responded to the tragedy with an op-ed article in Sunday’s Washington Post.

In the piece he remarks on the ways historical tragedies can “follow us into the future and flare up in violence”; they are not frozen in time and archived in monuments, but can continue to violate us decades after the fact. He discusses how the focus of American monuments has evolved over time, from statues of presidents and generals on horseback, to unique spaces bearing witness to soldiers and victims of war, slavery, genocide, and other devastating events throughout history. Savage suggests that the monument landscape is still evolving, and offers his ideas for a new kind of memorial, one which, as he states, will “make connections across these boundaries of suffering.” Read the Washington Post article, In the Mall, Heroes, Victims, Violence, here.

Kirk Savage is the author of the forthcoming Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape.