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Richardson, W.J. (1985). Chapter 7: Lacanian Theory. Models of the Mind: Their Relationships to Clinical Work, 101-117.
Richardson, W.J. (1985). Chapter 7: Lacanian Theory. Models of the Mind: Their Relationships to Clinical Work , 101-117
Chapter 7: Lacanian Theory
William J. Richardson, M.D.
One man knelt, cried for a minute and left behind his campaign medals, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit. Another, like many of the veterans, in olive drab, added his name to an ad hoc battalion sheet someone had staked in the ground; he stood back, saluted, saw his reflection in the black stone, then let out a kind of agonized whimper before two buddies led him away. … They came like pilgrims, bigger crowds each day, to Washington's newest and most unorthodox monument: the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial (Time, 11/22/82, p. 44).
You recognize this scene: the Washington Mall, November 1982. We all experienced the event, I presume, at least with the help of the media. And we all remember the war—at least since it ended in 1975, and some of us remember it ever since the first U.S. involvement in 1959. It festered in the national conscience as a mélange of grief, guilt, bitterness, and shame. Yet with the unveiling of the monument there was a reconciliation—“a homecoming, at last,” one headline said. This took place not just through the paroxysm of emotion (e.g., the weeping, the fingering and kissing of names), but above all by the names themselves of the dead and missing (59,939 of them), listed one by one in the stone—each name uttered again by a living voice through the public reading of them in the National Cathedral.
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