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By Philip West, Steven I. Levine, Jackie Hiltz

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The new V-2 exhibit consciously jettisoned the technological celebratory, believing that a more important story was being ignored. For those comfortable with the museum-as-temple, the NASM seemed to be moving beyond a forum, however, to a tribunal in which American air power was being put on trial. For example, critics pointed to the 1991 exhibit "Legends, Memory, and the Great War in the Air," which examined, in part, how the romantic mythology of air war could mask the brutal realities of combat in World War I.

5. Herbert Butterfield, History and Human Relations (London: Collins, 1951), pp. 9-17. 6. Michael Schudson, Watergate in American Memory: How We Remember, Forget, and Reconstruct the Past (New York: Basic Books, 1992), pp. xii-xvi. 7. Haruko Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook, Japan at War (New York: New Press, Page 14 1992); Donald Knox, The Korean War: An Oral History, 2 vols. (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1985, 1988); Larry Engelman, Tears Before the Rain: An Oral History of the Fall of South Vietnam (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).

Certainly we do not want to denigrate the traumas of Americans who lost loved ones in these wars or who themselves came back from foreign wars crippled in body or spirit. Nor should the sufferings of those who were prisoners of war (POWs) or missing in action (MIA) be forgotten. ) We would be remiss, however, did we not emphasize that the memories of the noncombatants are largely Asian memories. With the exception of Pearl Harbor, all three wars were fought on Asian soil. There were very few American civilian deaths and casualties as a result of these wars.

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