Boston’s Lieux de Mémoire

As a tourist, it’s hard to escape the scaffolds of public memory in a place like Boston.  As much as it embraces a resolute sense of cosmopolitan modern (like the Institute for Contemporary Art and more commercial endeavours that have reshaped the harbourfront in the last ten years), it is a place of profound memorialisation – both tacky and heartfelt, new and old.  When the day you visit is the tenth anniversary of 9/11, well, escaping the memorial – as a site, as an act, as feeling – is almost impossible.

So a study in contrasts: three images that speak to different times, different memories, different scales and spaces of memorializing.  But all from Boston on a memorable weekend away.

George Washington equestrian statue, 1869, Boston Commons

JFK library

John F. Kennedy Pesidential Library and Museum.

Old North Church Memorial Garden

Old North Church Boston Memorial Garden, blank dogtags commemorating American Armed Forces personnel who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq.