Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Yesterday was the centenary anniversary of the beginning of World War I. On July 28, 1914, one month after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated, the Austro-Hungarian empire made its first moves against Serbia. The Great War would end more than four years later.
This weekend, I visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which was hosting a very fine exhibit of American World War I posters. I was struck by the powerful imagery of civil religion in many of them. Here are two exhorting the purchase of war bonds that stood out to me as particularly representative of the genre:
And this afternoon, to remember the War, Mark Movsesian and I visited Flag Pole Green in Queens, New York, which has this lovely memorial to the men of Queens who died in the War:
Just a few fragments of civil religion–that perennial American socio-political coagulant–in memory of the war to end war.