An Intimate Monument Hidden from the World’s View
This chapter focuses on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, dedicated by Queen Sirikit on October 22, 1990, located within the grounds of the Royal Thai Army's base at Lat Ya, Kanchanaburi. As an official monument, it tells the story of the country's involvement in South Vietnam, using the same themes that the Thai government presented to the country when it first announced it was becoming openly involved in the war in 1967. However, an examination of the memorial reveals much how the country's ruling institutions would have the war remembered in Thailand. It also illustrates why such an official narrative is consistent with the themes, recollections, and concerns offered by Thai veterans when they relate their individual histories of the conflict, with a few notable exceptions. And while some veterans are underwhelmed by its form or disappointed by its provincial location, all tend to see the monument as a symbol of national and individual success.
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