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One of the things that struck me when I interviewed Vietnam veterans two decades ago for my book, Saigon to Jerusalem, was what happened to them when they returned home from the war.
It was not so much that they were spat upon (which happened, but rarely) or honoured (which also happened, but even more rarely) but that they were ignored.
They were invisible. It was a war that most Americans wanted to forget.
It was a long process for the Americans to come to terms with Vietnam and the process began with the building of that extraordinary memorial in Washington DC, with its stark rendering of the names of each of the tens of thousands of Americans who died there.
Today in London, the Queen is dedicating a new war memorial in Green Park to the memory of the more than 55,000 British airmen who fought and were killed while serving in Bomber Command during the Second World War.
This new memorial may serve a similar purpose, both for the surviving veterans who will finally feel honoured and no longer invisible, but more important, it will help ignite a debate about historical memory.