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Trey Achterhoff Assignment 2A Rhetorical Reflection Section HBMcGough October 4, 2013 Between Art and Architecture In the United

States of America, where partisanship rules politics and everyone always has the right opinion, a war cannot be fought without a large amount of pushback from the American public. No single war in the history of the United States has caused more of this upheaval than the Vietnam War. Even after the war was over and the soldiers returned home, many Americans continued to speak out against the war. The veterans, many of whom had experienced unimaginable horrors, were greatly disrespected by the public upon their return. Many Americans, however, wanted to honor those who had sacrificed their lives attempting to defend their freedoms. Maya Lin was one of those people. Through both her Vietnam Veterans Memorial and her essay, Between Art and Architecture, Lin wanted to remind Americans of the massive loss of life that occurred to protect their freedoms and attempted to restore respect to the veterans of the Vietnam War. In its original context, her essay was very effective at doing this. In its context now, reprinted in Convergences, the essay serves more as a reminder for Americans to continue to respect those who serve to defend our liberties. Maya Lin originally penned Between Art and Architecture in 1982, eight years after the United States stopped its involvement in the Vietnam War. Despite this, with the Cold War still in full swing, anti-war feelings were extremely high. Lin was fresh out of college, interestingly the same age as many of those most against the Vietnam War. Watching her peers continue to show disrespect to those who had served in Vietnam likely drove Lin insane. The names of every soldier who had served and died in Vietnam meant something to Lin. She wrote about this meaning in her essay. Between Art and Architecture was originally an attempt to make the rest of the country realize the power in the names of those who died in Vietnam. They were men and women who gave their lives to preserve the freedoms of every single American, even those who were not thankful for their service. For that, our soldiers deserved admiration. For some reason, however, Lin did not publish her essay right away. It was not until 2000 that the essay found its way into a published work of literature. By the time Between Art and Architecture was printed in Boundaries, the context and meaning had already changed dramatically. Today, with its reproduction in Convergences, the context and meaning have evolved even more. The college students now reading the essay know of the Vietnam War only from second hand accounts by grandparents, parents, and next door neighbors. For this reason, the essay no longer pleas for people to respect the veterans of the Vietnam War, but rather to respect all veterans, even if they do not agree with the reason for the war that veteran served in. The younger generations of today definitely tend to lean to the left and are more inclined to be opponents to war. Despite this, the names of those who serve and sacrifice their lives for freedom still represent something great about being an American, and Lin does not want that to be forgotten. Not being able to sit by idly while the names of Vietnam veterans were forgotten, Maya Lin sat down to write Between Art and Architecture. If she had released the essay to her original audience, it would have been extremely effective in helping Vietnam veterans gain respect. Today, even though its reprinting completely changes its context and audience, it is still very effective at passing on a sense of respect for those who serve in our military. Whether her essay was read in 1982 or 2013, Lin successfully conveys to all Americans a sense of national pride and of reverence to our veterans.