Cold War Memorials, Medals & Museums

By Kolb, Richard K. | VFW Magazine, May 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Cold War Memorials, Medals & Museums

Kolb, Richard K., VFW Magazine

Forgotten in the sweep of international events since 1991, the Cold lz\tar and the U.S.' victory in it have gone unrecognized far too long. But now a movement is beginning to emerge to rectify the historical injustice dealt the GIs who served.

We've all heard it before-the Cold War was won without the loss of a life or even firing a shot. But nothing could be further from the truth. Hundreds of American graves can attest to the deadliness of the crusade against Soviet communism.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer, in his essay "The End of Heroism," wrote of the Cold War: "Our war, the war we hardly recognize, was the long twilight struggle that ended as no other great war in history-with utter silence."

After all, some say, Russia is now our ally. (So is Germany, but who would dare deny veterans of WWII their rightful place in history.) More important, though, are the revisionists who have a vested interest in relegating the Cold War to history's dustbin to the detriment of those who won it.

Victorious GIs were denied glaring bands, ticker tape parades and laudatory speeches. As VFW member Robert A. Augelli said: "Cold War duty overseas had its demands and those who faced the Soviets and other Communist forces eyeball-to-eyeball for all those many years certainly deserve some recognition."

Recognition, however, will not come in the form of a medal. Only a "certificate of recognition" has been begrudgingly granted. Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.) pushed this measure through last Veterans Day as House Con. Res. 64. Details on issuance of the certificates are reportedly being worked out.


In championing a memorial, including a hall of the fallen, Krauthammer said of the Cold War: "It was real and dangerous. Though often clandestine and subtle, it ranged worldwide, cost many lives, evoked much heroism and lasted what seemed like forever." Many veterans would certainly agree.

Among the first to call for remembrance was Zalmay Khalizad, a strategist at RAND, who wrote in the Washington Times: "First, a Cold War museum should be established to provide evidence of the sacrifices made by Americans. Second, a day should be designated to annually memorialize the Cold War and our victory over Soviet communism."

So far, only small-scale memorials to various Cold War operations exist. Perhaps the first was the memorial "to the martyrs" in Miami, established by the Bay of Pigs Combatants Association-veterans of Cuban exile Brigade 2506. And Taiwan dedicated a memorial to an American officer killed in a Red Chinese shelling on Quemoy in 1954.

The Strategic Air Command memorial and chapel plaque at the SAC Musuem near Omaha, Neb.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Cold War Memorials, Medals & Museums


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?