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Nations are Founded on the Deaths of Soldiers
The New York Times article below has it right—the theory Library of Social Science has developed and promoted for the last 10 years:
  • Nations are founded on the deaths of soldiers.
  • Their sacrifices are made sacred through burial in a national cemetery.

Do we fight wars—and then memorialize the dead? Or do we fight wars in order to memorialize the dead?

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Politicians Must Connect with the Sacrifice of Soldiers

Tony Walter Tony Walter is professor of death studies at the University of Bath, United Kingdom.

AUGUST 11, 2016, 3:20 AM

The United States, like many nations, is founded on death – the death of its soldiers who fought, first for independence, then in wars in defense of the nation and its values.

Their blood first created and since then has sustained the nation, argued Carolyn Marvin and David Ingle in their 1999 book "Blood Sacrifice and the Nation." Those who die for their country are more than heroes; they are manifestations of the nation itself, their sacrifice made sacred through burial in a national cemetery and in commemorations on Memorial Day. Without them, without their sacrifice, there is no nation. They are a symbol, an emblem, of the nation itself.