Artistic Response to War: Vietnam War Memorial – “Reflections” (by Lee Teeter)

A “police action,” the “Vietman Conflict,” or better known as the Vietnam war was a US involvement to discourage the “domino theory” of expanding communist empires throughout Asia. That was the official reason to send American troops to fight for freedom, and democracy. Many stories and other details are not part of history, revealing the intricacies of this conflict’s politics and historic significance.

Why would American’s go fight a war that didn’t directly threatened the liberties of US citizens in our own country? Over 50,000 men died fighting, and just as many survived to provide the tales of the men who fought this war. The Vietnam memorial was put in place to honor the names of the soldiers who died defending our principles, and our way of life.

Lee Teeter’s painting “Reflections,” portrays the surviving member of an outfit, or perhaps of a family member who mourns the death of his loved one lost during the Vietnam War. The painting is powerful because of its simple message, “I miss you.” This is the side of this war that will not be included in historical accounts, nor does it have historical significance. This painting is not about the war, but rather the result from it. It describes the loss of husbands, fathers, uncles, sons, cousins, and friends who fought a battle away from their loved ones, and how those who loved them are left behind to keep them only in memory.

Further to the painting’s meaning to each who interprets it, is George Jones “50,000 Names,” a musical tribute to those who are on this side of the wall, who have lived without their loved ones by their side, to at very least be able to see their name be honored in this wall.

History will describe the necessities for war, the conflicts and the shifts of power, its political consequences and outcomes. Lee Teeter’s “Reflections,” as well as George Jones “50,000 names” have taken a more natural description to our sense of loss, in a way that will help us remember the memories of those we will miss.

Published in:American Literature |on September 29th, 2012 |No Comments »