Author: Matthew Friedman

The Memorial Project: Confederate Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC

In the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh, in April 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant wrote that “it would have been possible to walk across the clearing in any direction stepping on dead bodies without a foot touching the ground.” It was the bloodiest battle in American history to that point, although it would soon be eclipsed by the carnage of Chickamauga, Spotsylvania, and Gettysburg. More than 1,700 Union soldiers lay dead, and an equal number of rebels. Fully one quarter of the men who fought on those days were maimed, missing, or dead. The bodies were piled into...

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Faces of Change: March For Our Lives NYC

As many as 200,000 demonstrators came out on a sunny spring morning in Manhattan to participate in the March for Our Lives. They joined almost a million marching in Washington DC, and hundreds of thousands more at more than 800 events across the country and around the world to demand gun control, and to defiantly stand-up to the American gun lobby. These are some photographs from the march in New York. First Steps ◄ Back Next ► Picture 1 of 27 A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Ilford HP5+ 400) © Matthew Friedman Scroll...

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The Memorial Project: Irish Famine Memorial, Lincoln Park, Jersey City, NJ

The 18-foot tall Celtic cross in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park marks both a memory of profound trauma and the persistence of the community that remembers it. Erected in 2011 in a public park by the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, the memorial’s design reaches far back into Irish history to commemorate an Gorta Mór (the Great Hunger) of 1845-1852, the cataclysmic famine that killed a million and sent millions more from their homeland. The Irish community has deep roots in Jersey City that reach back to that cataclysm. Father Mark O’Connell opened the dedication ceremony with a blessing, following...

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The Memorial Project: Wars of America Memorial, Military Park, Newark, NJ

A crowd of 4,000 gathered in the chilly, late-spring rain to dedicate a memorial to America’s war dead in Newark’s Military Park. It was 1926, only seven-and-a-half years since the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War. Veterans stood on the dais shoulder-to-shoulder with New Jersey Governor Harry Moore, Newark Mayor Thomas Raymond, and a handful of uniformed Army and Navy officers. Secretary of the Navy Curtis Wilbur addressed the crowd: “The monument dedicated today is intended to express, as nearly as can be done in bronze and stone, our sense of obligation to the soldiers...

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The Memorial Project: National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York, NY

The World Trade Center’s twin towers fell on 11 September 2001. Almost immediately, Americans began to seek closure, even if the term hadn’t yet fully worked its way into their daily vocabulary. Writing in the New York Times ten weeks later, Shaila Dewan recalled that the idea of “closure” might first have appeared in the public imagination in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, when Timothy McVeigh killed a 168 people… Or maybe it was the Monica Lewinsky scandal, or South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission… It was, nevertheless, still a new concept in 2001, “a shorthand...

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