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That relationship is further complicated by the phenomenon of war, which plays a central role in the self-definition of many countries, including the United States and its wartime allies and enemies in Asia. " Such memory, however, as critics point out, is necessarily selective as societies "reconstruct their pasts rather than faithfully record them" in order to serve the "needs of contemporary culture . . " 2 Other scholars amplify these points. "4 It would be naive, however, to suppose that the "objective accounts of historians" are simply what they purport to be.

Linenthal In December 1991, I had the opportunity to work as a volunteer for the National Park Service's History division at the fiftieth anniversary ceremonies at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. I had written about fiftieth anniversary events at other battle sites, notably Lexington and Concord, Gettysburg, and the Little Bighorn, and I had been impressed and moved by the power of the intense remembering, the attraction so many peopleparticipants and visitors alikefelt at being able to ritually "touch" events seen as crucial to the life of the nation.

From 1953 until 1960, the airplane sat on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, in disrepair, until it was finally disassembled and moved to a Smithsonian preservation facility in Maryland in 1961. There was uneasiness about the Smithsonian displaying a restored Enola Gay. Even Arizona senator Barry Goldwater, who had been an Army Air Force pilot during World War II, stated during congressional hearings on the Smithsonian in 1970, ''what we are interested in here [for the museum] is the truly historic aircraft.

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