This book explores the phenomenon of objects being left at the Vietnam War Memorial, Washington D.C. Since its inception in 1982, one hundred and fifty thousand objects have been left by veterans, wives and families, as well as people not necessarily related to those named on the Wall. These objects are argued to be representative of a complex expression of loss and bereavement, both by individuals and by American society as a whole. This exploration utilises various understandings of grief and bereavement, theoretical approaches to understanding objects as gifts, and expressions of deeply set emotion through written and physical forms. It suggests that the use of these objects represents a continuous process of redefining individual relationships and that this is especially acute in relation to the Vietnam War.
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