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Collective ConvictionThe Story of Disaster Action$
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Anne Eyre and Pam Dix

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381236

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781781381236.001.0001

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Looking Back and Looking Forward – Significant Anniversaries

Looking Back and Looking Forward – Significant Anniversaries

(p.153) Chapter 12 Looking Back and Looking Forward – Significant Anniversaries
Collective Conviction

Anne Eyre

Pam Dix

Liverpool University Press

This chapter reflects on the importance of remembering and commemorating disasters. For all affected by these tragic events, significant anniversaries are in part about reconciling and assimilating the past into their everyday lives. For some, the passage of time means that the tenth, twentieth, and twenty-fifth anniversaries can represent an opportunity to look forward; for others, personal loss and the fact that fundamental questions about these events remain unanswered and unaddressed mean that notions such as 'moving on' or 'letting go' are simplistic and unhelpful. The challenge for those organising and conducting commemorative events after collective tragedy is to ensure that moving on does not mean moving away from the connection with the tragedy. Commemorations need to be inclusive in order to avoid individual survivors or bereaved, or the wider community, feeling that their loss and experience are somehow lesser, or not recognised; the whole point of commemoration is to feel validated. When thoughtfully considered, the way in which permanent memorials and memorial services are designed and conducted can embrace the sense of remembering the unique character and loss of individuals within the collective experience of disaster.

Keywords:   disaster commemoration, disasters, disaster anniversaries, commemorative events, collective tragedy, survivors, bereaved people, permanent memorials, memorial services, collective experience

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