May 31, 2011

Connecticut is host to hundreds of war memorials and monuments dating back all the way back to the Civil War. These memorials are usually very literal - depictions of heroic figures or commemorations of the war dead. Or they are truly monumental: points of civic pride meant to be gathering places for the community. But over time, memorials have grown increasingly conceptual and abstract, and are often a touchstone for controversy.

On our return from Memorial Day weekend, we’ll explore the purpose and power of memorials. We’ll speak with the editor of a recent book about the difficult task of creating a public space that allows both a collective and intensely personal experience of remembrance. We’ll hear from Mary Fetchet, the founding director of New Canaan-based Voices of September 11th about their interactive online Living Memorial Project, and the controversial 9/11 Memorial at ground zero.

And the lead organizer for the Hartford Distributors’ memorial garden will talk about the commemorative sculptures to be dedicated later this summer on the one-year anniversary of the workplace shooting.