But the past is just the same - and War's a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.
-Siegfried Sassoon, "Aftermath" (1919)
I Remember: Chicago Veterans of War weaves together the Memories of fifty veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. These vets were asked to submit any number of "I remember" statements - to recall the small and large of their war experiences.
The book lists veterans' memories one after the next with numbers instead of names in the margin to signal each new voice. Readers can, when and if they choose, check the Biography section in the back of the book to match a number and its associated memories with the name of a veteran and his or her background. The system of numbering is meant to be vaguely militaristic - a way of foregrounding the contrast between a soldier's number or unit and the unique human story of every war.
This anonymous structure foregrounds the similarities of all wars. The effect is of one veteran speaking of the shock and scale of every modern war.
JOIN OUR EXPERIMENT IN PUBLISHING AND COMMUNITY
“This beautiful book is built on the simplest of premises: “I remember.” Here are Chicago’s bravest, remembering all of what war can be. Theirs are memories that sear and soar and won’t be easily forgotten—not by them, of course, not ever, and not by the rest of us, either, as we become their witnesses.
—David Finkel, author of The Good Soldiers and Thank You For Your Service
I Remember: Continuation Project
DePaul University's Big Shoulders Books published I Remember: Chicago Veterans of War in September 2015. The book featured memories of Chicago veterans from every modern war. We would like to continue to collect and feature new Chicago veterans' memories on the Big Shoulder's website.
The new online publication platform, the I Remember: Continuation Project is dedicated to enabling the voices of veterans and facilitating veterans' creative writing. All veterans are encouraged to participate, no previous writing experience required! Follow the link below to join the project, or keep reading to learn more about the print edition of I Remember: Chicago Veterans of War.
What People are saying:
Many of the veterans featured in the book shared snapshots from their time in war. Below is a small gallery of these powerful photographs courtesy of I Remember contributors.