Pictures Speak Louder Than Words


It is often mentioned that “A picture is worth more than a thousand words” because an image can convey its essence more effectively than a description or words. By preserving photos, humans are able to give value to meaningful items that kept a material record of what occurred at the moment. Photos that are preserved are meant to be stored away and only taken out to be enjoyed or skimmed through sporadically in order to honor and remember what occurred in the moment and see how the memories within photographs live onto the future.IVstrong-01

On May 23, 2014, tragedy struck the community of Isla Vista when six students: Veronika Weiss, George Chen, Weihan Wang, Christopher Michael-Martinez, Chen Hong, and Katherine Cooper who lives were taken away too soon. Despite such tragedy, the Isla Vista community was able to come together as one. The story told through the archived and published photographs of the spontaneous and planned memorials, artifacts and messages left at these memorials are able to tell a story of community, unity, and solidarity within Isla Vista despite such senseless tragedy. These photographs are able to explicitly and implicitly convey the “IV/UCSB strong” message. 16592070554_a7a2cdd9e6_o.jpgAfter the tragedy occurred in Isla Vista, many spontaneous memorials occurred throughout the community. People who knew the victims and even people who did not know them came together to set up memorials to show their solidarity. The below and above photograph is very moving as it was taken the night of and day after the tragedy occurred. These photographs are able to preserve how a community came together in solidarity and keep documentation on how the community’s actions support the message of “IV/UCSB Strong.”


The community came to mourn and show support by placing flowers, candles, posters, and objects that represented the victims. 17213970071_36dfb482cc_z.jpgThere were also six individual black posters set in front of Pardall Center for people to write their condolences for the six victims. The community left positive remarks for a peaceful afterlife for the six individuals and prayers for the IV community as they continue the healing process.

16592117994_0cca42e7bf_z.jpgThis photograph shows that the IV community created a memorial to show that the people injured in the tragedy will have a quick and healthy recovery. Sometimes the death of people may overshadow the ones who were injured and traumatized. In the case of the tragedy, the community did not forget the thirteen injured people and created a spontaneous memorial for them as well. Not only does the photograph show how the community commemorated the six victims, but also shows their support for the people who were injured in the tragedy.

17213957801_3173c6baef_k.jpgThe UCSB Surf team also organized a paddle-out memorial to honor the six killed and thirteen injured people. UCSB surfers and Isla Vista residents gathered in the ocean off the coast of Santa Barbara to honor the six killed and 13 injured in the shooting rampage that took place. Three-thousand people RSVP’d for this evenUniversity of California-Santa Barbara surfers and Isla Vista residents gathered in the ocean Wednesday evening off the coast of Santa Barbara to honor the six killed and 13 injured in the shooting rampage that took place last Friday night.t and hundreds of surfers created a circle by holding hands. This breath-taking picture of the event symbolizes the unity and solidarity that the IV community shares as they overcame this tragedy and also documents an event in which its atmosphere of community is impossible to replicate. 17297822865_682e09e639_z.jpgAt the paddle-out, students chanted, signed and tossed bouquets of flowers into the ocean. This is one of the many photographs that displayed the strength and resilience of the IV community.

17295981982_f4965f5161_z.jpgWords cannot do justice for way the IV community came together in solidarity and unity. Before doing my research on this tragedy, I would throw the pun “Gaucho Back” around to my friends. After looking at these photographs, I truly understand what “Gaucho back” means to the IV community. It is vital that these photographs are preserved because it allows people to see the meaning of community, unity, and solidarity in the moment and how the IV community continues these. Without these photographs, people would not truly understand “Gaucho Back” and “IV/UCSB Strong.” People are also able to experience an atmosphere evoked in these photographs that are impossible to replicate. The photographs of the spontaneous acts of kindness from the community are able to reveal that people externalize memory because of the everlasting memory created within each photograph. They evoke many emotions and allow audiences to gain a greater understanding of the events that took place and the sense of community in times of darkness. By preserving these photographs, we are also preserving a time in place that will forever be cherished in the heart of the IV community and will continue to touch lives of other.17213977181_0d22333acf_z.jpg

Dia De Los Muertos, To Mourn or To Celebrate the Dead?

Death itself is tragic; thoughts of losing a loved one seems inconceivable. When someone dies the victims tend to mourn. For Dia De Los Muertos, a two day celebration on  the dead, the families of Mexico don’t just mourn the dead, rather they celebrate the dead.

Especially day two of Dia De Los Muertos, families all over Mexico tend to celebrate the day with festivities such as dancing, music, and sing along songs.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 8.30.04 AM Found on Google images

The reason behind the festive culture is to celebrate the best of their lost loved ones. The communities of Mexico dance for their lost loved ones, they eat the food that their lost ones used to love to eat, and so much more. Practically, everything they due for the second day is to celebrate all the qualities that made the dead special as they were living before they died.

By mocking the idea of death, Mexican families are viewing death as nothing more than a part of life. Peter Ward, a professor of sociology and C. B. Smith, Sr. Centennial Chair in United States-Mexico Relations #2, states that “Mexicans revere death and do not fear the afterlife to the same degree as many other culture.”

With this mentality, the people of Mexico are able to remember the dead in a new meaning and by doing so they remember the dead different than most cultures. By believing death is another part of life it provides a new sense of environment for the dead. It provides a change in ideas for what to do when a loved one dies. The act of using memories to create an upbeat environment is one that fascinated me since in America that kind of attitude towards the dead has not been socially adopted.


Keeping the Memory of the Pearl Harbor Attacks Alive

The popular saying,”Lost the battle, win the War”, has strong relevance for the Pearl Harbor Memorial. While the attacks on December 7, 1941 left 3,000 dead or wounded, those who survived created a strong tradition of annual pilgrimages to respect and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The initial Pearl Harbor Memorial site, the USS Arizona, was created to honor those who had died in the attacks.  The Pearl Harbor Memorial is a 184 feet structure that spans the sunken USS Arizona, which still holds the remains of hundred of servicemen.

The main attraction, the USS Arizona, on which the memorial is built holds special significance. The memorial structure, pictured below, was designed to give an overall effect of serenity. The Pearl Harbor Memorial holds special significance to those directly impacted to it; it has still managed to gain prominence throughout the United States. Dee Britton, in her piece What is Collective Memory, discusses the ability of memorial sites to act as a totem object to create a sense of community and unity. The Pearl Harbor Memorial is able to create a sense of community and unity because it represents a tragic attack and loss on not just in Hawaii, but on the American people.


There is a decline in veteran pilgrimages due to aging occurring at the Pearl Harbor Memorial. There is a sense of hopelessness from the veterans that they won’t be able to keep the memory alive for future generations. John Anderson, a Pearl Harbor Survivor, lost friends and a twin brother on the USS Arizona; he has continued to come back to pay his respects to the fallen and keep the collective individual memories of the soldiers alive with other veterans.   But looking at tourism at the Memorial site, that shouldn’t be a problem. But at 97 years old, Anderson, like many other veterans, are becoming to old to make the journey every year. This is shifting the focus of visitors to the memorial to tourists who are looking into the American collective memory for the Pearl Harbor Attacks.

This increasing demand for the Memorial has allowed the tourism to flourish, even though the number of veterans are decreasing. While direct connections are decreasing with time, popularity for the Memorial sites is increasing. Developments such as the Pearl Harbor movie, increased patriotism after 9/11, and more additions to memorial sites have increased the marketability and allure of the Pearl Harbor Memorial sites. For example the Pearl Harbor Memorial now contains the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri battleship, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, the Pearl Harbor Memorial, and gift shops.

Today there are a number of ways to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial. Sites, such as Pearl Harbor Tour Reservations & Visitor Information provide comparisons between numerous tour companies that focus on the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The upcoming 73rd anniversary is fast approaching on December 7th, and there are a number of websites, such as the one listed above that, offering tourists the opportunity to see the courageous sacrifices made for America.




A makeshift memorial on the 1400 block of East Fairhaven Avenue where three 13- year-old girls Andrea and twin sisters Lexandra and Lexi Perez  were killed in a hit-and-run collision while trick-or-treating in Santa Ana on Halloween night.  Photo: C. Yamanaka 

On October 31, 2014, a terrible tragedy occurred.  Three young girls age 13 were viciously struck by a car resulting in their deaths. This is an image of the street corner where the incident happened. It has been over a year that this has happened and on this years Halloween Day a Rosario was held for the young girls. A Rosario also known as a Rosary in english, is a prayer of peace taken place at the scene in which a person might of passed away.

The timing of these deaths was especially hard to deal with considering that it was just a day before Day of the Dead.This is a holiday originated in the Mexican culture that honors the dead. The year the incident occurred it was extremely devastating in our community as we all mourned the young girls death. It was hard not to celebrate the Day of the Day when that tragedy was only a day before. However, this year it was easier to honor the young girls since the incident wasn’t as fresh. Our community participated in remaking the vigil and participating in prayers.

It is always difficult loosing a loved one and in the Hispanic culture it is very interesting how they choose to remember and honor a loved one. It is amazing how the traditions and culture has continued for so long. When a loved one passes it is tradition to hold a Novena. A Novena a tradition that takes place after a death in a family. It is nine consecutive days of prayer and devotion to their lost one. This consists of repeating prayers in a meditational way. An hour or two a day of prayer is taken place. As families gather it is important that a vigil is set up in the remembrance of their loved one. The prayer is usually at someones house.  Here is an example of how a shrine is set up for Novena. Beautiful lights and candles are set up, with many photos and flowers to create an amazing view.

20131122_185259The whole point of a Novena is to pray and honor their loved one who has passed.  This mechanism is to never forget and always bless the soul of the person who has died. Pray is used to ease the soul of the person who has passed into the afterlife. Here is an example of one of the prayers used in a Novena this prayer translates to being the Hail Mary prayer.

EL AVE MARÍA (Hail Mary in Spanish)

Dios te salve María, llena eres de Gracia, El Señor es contigo, bendita Tú eres entre todas las mujeres, y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre, Jesús. 

Santa María Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros los pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

A Novena is traditionally a nine day process that takes place after the death of a person however, in some families this Novena is repeated every year after the death to continue to bless the soul of the person who has passed away. This usually goes on for a couple years after the death until the family and friends of the loved ones feel or are more accepting of the passing of a loved one. Religion is a very common way of remembering people, traditions and much more. Holidays are put in place to remember traditions about religion such as Christmas and Easter. These are two holidays put in place to recognize and honor people through religion.

For more information please visit these sites:

Who makes it to Cooperstown?

Cooperstown, NY.  This is the city that houses the building where baseball greats and legends are remembered. The Baseball Hall Of Fame, often referred to as Cooperstown, is the place where those who excelled the most at the sport are forever remembered with their name and face engraved in an iron plaque. Or is it really? How is it decided who makes it to Cooperstown? And why? Might there be a reason why certain people are not remembered?

The Rules for Election: Every year active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America vote on who will be enshrined in the HOF. Pretty much, anyone who has played in the MLB for a minimum of 10 seasons and has been retired for a minimum of 5 years is eligible to be voted in and to be voted in, you must receive at least 75% approval of the ballots cast to be inducted.

Voting is not based solely on performance however. From the Baseball Hall of Fame website, “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

Note the words integrity and character. These words alone make the difference on who is ultimately remembered in the sport.

One instance where the integrity of the game played a huge factor in whether a player was inducted into the hall of Fame was in the case of Barry Bonds. He is currently MLB’s Homerun leader, a feat he achieved after hitting his 756th homerun, breaking current hall of famer Hank Aaron’s record of 755 homeruns. He was one of baseball’s most feared hitters. However, he is currently being rejected admission into the Baseball Hall of Fame due to his involvement taking Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Although his ridiculous numbers would make anyone else a first-ballot Hall of Famer, the fact that he has cheated the game of baseball using PEDs has for now kept him out of the Hall of Fame.


Barry Bonds rounding the bases after he hits his historic 756th homerun.

Another interesting case is that of Pete Rose. He arguably had one of the greatest careers in baseball history. He currently holds 17 MLB records including most career hits, most career singles and most career games played, which show that he was an exceptional hitter not only for a season, but for a long time. He is a 17 time all-star, won the championship 3 times and was even voted into the Major League Baseball All-century Team, where the best 30 players in the 20th century are selected to create the best possible team.

pete rose

Pete Rose Sliding into 3rd base


However despite his many accomplishments, he is currently being left out of the Baseball HOF because he had wagered money on baseball games. Many baseball fans, analysts and writers currently argue on whether he should be included in the HOF because he didn’t directly cheat in those baseball games. He never took any PEDs and those records he holds are because of his extraordinary talent and dedication to the game. Nonetheless, those who are in charge of the Baseball HOF argue that he jeopardized the integrity of the game, and that he will never be voted into the HOF.

Players and coaches aren’t the only ones invited to Cooperstown. Lee MacPhail was an MLB executive who was actively involved in the game of baseball for over 40 years. He is remembered for improving many facets of the game and is most remembered for bringing an end to the 1981 Baseball Strike.


Picture of Lee MacPhail

From the examples above, it is clear the baseball HOF chooses to remember the rich and positive history of baseball. Yes, the main purpose of a Hall Of Fame is to remember the best players to play the game but the baseball HOF does not care only about statistical greatness. To be in the Hall Of Fame one must not only be great on the field, but also show integrity and bring pride to the game. By leaving out players such as Rose and Bonds, choosing to only remember the players who positively impacted the game. This would be an example of a presentist approach to collective memory. As Dee Britton explains in her piece What is Collective Memory, “Groups select different memories to explain current issues and concerns.  In order to explain the present, leaders of a group reconstruct a past using rationalization to choose which events are remembered, those that are eliminated, and rearrange events to conform to the social narrative.” Here, the MLB is trying to tell present and future players, as well as the public, that if you do not abide by what is seen as an exemplary player, then you will not be remembered as a Hall of Famer. This in turn is beneficial to the overall image of baseball. Since they have refused to allow cheaters into the Hall of Fame, it has set a precedent that will discourage the use of PED’s and any other form of cheating or dishonesty.


Armour, Mark. “Lee MacPhail.” Society For American Baseball Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2015. <;.

“BBWAA Election Rules.” National Baseball Hall Of Fame. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <;.

Britton, Dee. “What Is Collective Memory?” Memorialworlds. Memorial Worlds, 27 June 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2015.

Davidoff, Ken. “Barry Bonds Must Be in Hall of Fame after Courts Clear His Name.” NY Post. New York Post, 22 July 2015. Web. 26 Nov. 2015.

Neyer, Rob. “Rethinking Rose’s Reinstatement.” Just a Bit Outside. FoxSports, 19 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.

Scrapbooks – A Way To Preserve Memory

Scrapbooking is a practice that has been around for years now and the earliest findings of scrapbooks date back to the 17th century. Scrapbooking is about expressing one’s thoughts, feelings and sentiments by placing pictures/objects together that relate to a memory. Modern scrapbooking has several different purposes however the main reason a person would choose to scrapbook now is to have something special to look back on. When creating a scrapbook the first thing to consider is what is it that you want to remember?

Scrapbook Pic

Found on

A scrapbook is a decorated photo album that preserves stories/ memories behind a photo, it can also hold memorabilia such as tickets, certificates, letters and many other things. A scrapbook is special because it allows memory to be preserved through combining pictures and other objects that relate to the picture to create a story. Scrapbooks as opposed to other forms of preserving memory are special because they’re very personal and allow whoever is making it freedom to create something unique to look back on.

Scrapbooks give the creator the personal freedom to choose how they remember something. For example, the person creating the scrapbook can choose a theme and use stickers, glitter, and many other decorative objects to make a scrapbook page special. Scrapbooking may seem like just a simple fun arts and crafts project however the placements of pictures and objects are important because they contribute to the externalization of memory.

Angling a picture a specific way may seem insignificant to most people but to the creator of the scrapbook it is crucial. Matching pictures witch specific borders or colors is also important because when attempting to relive a memory these elements can help elicit certain feelings that can take you back to that exact moment that the picture was taken.


Scrapbooking is a main way to store memories and be able to access them whenever you’d like. Placing pictures/objects in a specific spot and decorating the page of a scrapbook however you want will affect how you remember things when you decide to look back at the scrapbook in the future. Scrapbooking can be time consuming however it isn’t hard to pick up on it and below is a link to get started:

Scrapbooking For Beginners – Tips + Ideas

Dia de los Muertos Altars

El Dia de Los Muertos is a way of remembering people that have past away and celebrating their lives. Dia de Los Muertos originated from the Aztecs, Mayans, and Toltecs, however it has spread to many parts of the U.S (Borreli).This tradition helps people cope with the death of loved ones by acknowledging that they are dead but that their souls can come back to visit.

A big part of this celebration are the altars also called ofrendas in Spanish. These altars are usually made by family members who wish to remember and honor their loved ones. The ofrendas can have almost anything on them but they usually contain pictures, flowers, and food.


dia-de-los-muertos-altars An important component of the Altars are photographs. The person making the altar can put up pictures of their deceased family members and friends as a way to show love and respect. These pictures facilitate the externalization of memory because they often enable conversations. When someone asks who the person in the picture is memories will resurface and stories will be told about the person. Every picture has a story behind it and with El Dia de los Muertos these stories can be shared with new generations, who will hopefully continue the tradition.

These altars are also decorated with beautiful flowers called zempazuchitl, which can either be orange, yellow, or a mixture of both. They have become known as Day of the Dead flowers since they are always used during this celebration. The aroma of the flowers are very strong which is why they are used as a guide.“Petals are strewn forming a path to the front door to guide the souls home, especially if the living are far away from the burial place of the deceased and cannot go to the grave” this quote from Ramon Sanchez article explains how the souls of the dead come visit the altars that their families have made for them. Flowers are usually used in funerals and are placed on tombs, however with El Dia de los Muertos they can be placed inside the home, making this type of conmemoration more private.



Food is also placed on the Altars as a way of welcoming the souls.Their favorite foods and drinks are placed on the altar so that they can eat it.By making the favorite food of the deceased, memories resurface of when the person was alive. It doesn’t matter if these memories are painful,with El Dia de los Muertos they are turned into something positive. Something special about el Dia de los Muertos is that family members get to connect with the person that past away even if it just for a little while (UNC Institute). Through the use of food and objects El Dia de Los Muertos celebrates life and death at the same time.


El Dia de Los Muertos allows people to use their memories to create their loved one’s altars.  The things that the person loved the most are carefully selected and showcased in the altars. We all remember things differently but through the use of Altars our memories are combined into one single practice. The components of the Altars all work together to facilitate the externalization of our memories in a fun and creative way.


Hero or Villain?

    Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria



Today Escobar’s Legacy Is Still Felt

Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug trafficker during the 80s and 90s who supplied 80% of the cocaine that was smuggled into the U.S making him worth 30 billion. If he was included in the Forbes Magazine today he would be the seventh richest man in the world. Many Colombians remember this unforgettable figure as a drug dealer who was responsible for the deaths of approximately 4000 people, while many other Colombians remember him as a legendary hero. Although Escobar died 20 years ago, the actions and decisions Escobar made during those times still have an impact on Colombia today. Under those circumstances, Pablo Escobar’s legacy is memorialized through sites, media and commercial products. Consequently, there are two sides that divide Colombia in half and I want to figure out how this man can be seen at the same time as a notorious criminal to many and hero to others.

Pablo Escobar Biography



                Robin Hood

Robin hood was a heroic outlaw in England who was not only a skilled archer, but a noble bandit, who is often portrayed as “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor”. Similarly, thousands of Colombians today see Pablo Escobar as Robin Hood. Pablo started out poor but as he made his way up the ladder, he built parks, soccer fields, schools, and food programs that made him a legendary hero among the poor. He even built a neighborhood, which is called “Barrio Pablo Escobar”, for numerous families of Medellin who where homeless. Even though many people of Colombia have been affected by Pablo Escobar’s crimes, those who were benefited are grateful. The people from el Barrio Pablo Escobar still admire and remember him by painting his image on walls such as the one below.


Inscription reading “Welcome to the Pablo Escobar neighborhood. Here we breathe peace!”. Featuring Pablo Escobar’s image.


Another way Pablo’s legacy is memorialize is through his grave. Thousands of Colombians and tourist visit this popular place each year to offer respect. Many usually bring flowers or candles. Correspondingly, another way Escobar’s legacy is remembered is through media. Books, magazines, films, internet and documentaries either portray Escobar as a monster or hero. A great example that made Escobar’s public image as a hero was the Semana magazine, which published a story on Escobar titled “A paisa Robin Hood” where they spoke great things about him including his passion for social improvement. Here is the magazine.



                The Other Side


Many Colombians detest Pablo Escobar for the policy he created called “Plata o Plomo”. This policy  helped him run the government through bribery and intimidation, which meant you either take the money or get shot. This led to the killings of around 4000 individuals that today still affect many lives that were somehow related to those civilians. Not only did kill innocent people, but also numerous politicians including Luis Carlos Galan a candidate who was likely to win the presidency in the 80s.


The Colombians of upper class never admired or admire Escobar because they believed and still believe he manipulated the public to ensure his personal security. They believed he wanted to be popular among the poor so when they persecuted him he would be supported by many. Media has played a vital role on the image of Pablo Escobar. A great example is the current show on Netflix called Narcos, which presents Escobar as a cruel almost terrorist who viciously ordered and killed thousands of lives.


Numerous Colombians also find films such as this one insulting because of the crimes he committed. Not to mention that many people are against commercial products sold daily that remember the legacy of Pablo Escobar such as shirts, images, books, and even risk watches. They view this as an insult due to the fact that making money is more important than hurting others who were affected by this man.121003-escobar-220a.660;660;7;70;0


Those Colombians who are poor and were helped by Pablo Escobar tend to see Pablo Escobar as a generous individual. While those who support the government and weren’t helped by Pablo know that he indeed was a villain.





Knowing the Difference

Holidays and celebrations are mediums through which we externalize memory, remembering the past and individuals. In order to create a holiday, a common idea must be significant enough that it applies to the general population- a norm that becomes part of the culture. Veterans Day, along with Memorial Day is a celebration of renounced appreciation for the service men and women of America . An event that celebrates America’s history and the individuals involved in it.

Why is it important?

Honoring Veterans is something that we do every year and it holds a very distinct purpose. We celebrate the living and commemorate the dead, but when exactly do we do it? What is Memorial Day? What is Veteran’s Day? Should these terms be used interchangeably? NO. Know the Difference.

Usually when people think of Veterans Day, they see it as another holiday that will grant them freedom from learning at school or working. However, there is much more to Veterans Day than meets the eye. Constantly mistaken with Memorial Day, Veterans Day is a day that honors all American veterans as well as allied veterans that served in World War I and World War II. Recognized by Britain, France, Australia and Canada, Veterans Day does not only pertain to Americans and thus is becoming a global event. Unlike Memorial Day- which only honors the fallen veterans- Veterans Day honors all veterans, living and dead. We pay tribute to individuals who have sacrificed their lives in hopes of maintaining peace at home and protecting human values. Our culture is an edifice built of externalized memories. It is thus essential to distinguish how we remember veterans on both days.

A Video provided here by exemplifies the mood of Memorial Day

little-soldier1Memorial Day (

  • This image channels a strong message-the importance of the lives of the fallen- we remember and pay tribute to veterans. As opposed to Veteran’s day, the mood is much more serious and commemorative, celebrating and paying tribute to the fallen. We remember the best of them and embrace the individuals they left behind.

Veteran’s Day (

  • This image is a much more vivid representation of a holiday that serves a similar message, however it is more vibrant and festive than Memorial Day. In Veteran’s Day we celebrate the living through parades, fireworks and marches. We honor their service and praise that they made it home safe. In society we give back to veterans everyday by giving them discounts and saluting them (before every national anthem) – they are the symbol of the United States and we thank them for their courageousness.


On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War. When U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as national Armistice Day the following year, the event composed of parades and public gatherings around the US. It wasn’t until November 11th of 1938 that Armistice Day became a legal federal holiday in the United States. Soon after the aftermath of both World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day was renamed to present day Veterans Day in hopes of dedicating/honoring American veterans of all wars. (background information provided by

History_BYDK_Veterans_Day_SF_still_624x352Memorial Day (

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, the true birthplace is difficult to conclude. Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead.The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.


Consciousness is the primary element that distinguishes us from any other organism within the animal kingdom. It provides us with the ability to both internalize and external our memories- granting us the ability to commemorate important events in history and individuals that have made a long lasting impact in our lives. The method of externalizing memories portrays the what, how and why people choose to remember a specific date, event or an individual. One major way human beings store memories outside of ourselves is by establishing holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day.These Holidays remember and honor all veterans, living or dead, and it is through such  holidays that all veterans live on as a collective memory.

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Through the hashtag, #blacklivesmatter, we are able to externalize memory, educate, and tell the stories of injustice. The death of Trayvon Martin sparked this international movement. It memorializes the lives lost due to police brutality and tells the public that not all lives are equal. This movement was made to tell the stories of the African Americans who died of injustice. Racism is still a very relevant issue today. With this movement it’s become routine to constantly remind citizens of all nations, that the minorities do matter, even if history has told them that they don’t. In this blog I use history and memory interchangeably because the history we remember is memory.

When ignorant people rant and say #alllivesmatter, that hashtag is very disrespectful, because yes, all lives do matter, but you have to remember that all lives, specifically black lives are not and have not been equal. That hashtag does not remember all the black lives that were lost due to that reality, that hashtag puts all the lives that were lost back in the shadows of history we choose to not acknowledge. It almost makes it seem that the people who support this counter movement want to be seen more important than black lives. Which is ironic because slavery was a vast majority of White Americans seeing themselves as more important than black people, and treating them less than human. The hashtag #alllivesmatter disregards the fact that black women, children, and men are being murdered by the State. Rekia Boyd, Oscar Grant, Tony Robinson, Mike Brown and Eric Garner were all murdered by the state. The policemen that murdered them faced no legal repercussions. That disproves the claim that “all lives matter and are equal” because the court didn’t see their lives important enough to give the policemen consequences or even jail time for their actions. That hashtag erases that fact and instead tries to shift the focus so they don’t have to be burdened with the knowledge this reality of injustice. Citizens that believe #blacklivesmatter is an inclusive movement are wrong. Just because this movement is saying black lives matter, doesn’t automatically mean that that other lives don’t matter; it’s not to have a contest to see who’s more oppressed, or to make black lives seem more important than others.

All Lives Matter*


We see the history of this country through the memory of white privilege, because they deemed that was the only side of history that mattered. There are school districts in Texas censoring the terminology they use in history textbooks about slavery. We’re spouting lies saying that this is America, the land of equal rights, and where all men are equal, when it’s clearly shown all throughout our history that and even in currents events that those are lies. We have 25 governors that aren’t allowing Syrian refugees settle into their states due to extremist fears that they could be terrorists. Where are the #alllivesmatter groups now, when there are people in need of refuge and half of our country denies that to them? When America was first founded we were refugees from England, and Native Americans who took us in ended up being slaughtered and went through genocide because of us. The only terrorism I see in this country is the KKK (which should definitely be considered a terrorist organization) and all the“mentally ill, out casted”  white people who decide, and have the resources to, shoot up movie theatres and schools. The U.S. doesn’t even acknowledge that as terrorism though, which is ironic because Nazis in Germany after the Second World War were considered to be terrorists and were trialed for their actions but I digress again. Another example of terrorism in this country would be what happened at the University of Missouri. There were white students rallying in groups chanting white power, and trapping students of color into parking lots terrorizing and harassing them. There was a yikyak post (a form of social media) saying that the students of color weren’t safe because they were going to shoot them on campus the next day. It was insane, and students of color were emailing their professors telling them they felt unsafe due to this even and the professors were insensitive to that and didn’t care. Again, I can provide countless examples proving that all lives are not/haven’t been equal and that white supremacy is still very alive and evident in this country unfortunately.

This movement has resources to shine light on the injustices of police system and their brutality. Yes, there are good cops and bad cops, and people want to remember the cops back when they were present to help the people of their city, but we’ve grown to a point where we need a serious police reform, because we can’t even trust our cops anymore and they don’t trust the public. They treat the majority of people of color like they have no feelings and people of color are more likely to become incarcerated than white people. People of color have been, and more so now (with good reason), scared of the police because of how many unjust murders there have been with police and people of color, remember Rumain Bribson, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, and so many others. You can’t run from cops either, or else they’ll shoot you and plead the “I felt threatened for my life” card (like Mike Brown’s case) and will walk with no jail time, and continue the cycle. If you don’t comply with their demands whether they’re obeying the laws or not, you have increased your chance of being arrested or murdered. This movement wants to shed this light on this issue so it will hopefully stop and can go back to trusting our police force. But how can we trust police after all of these murders and instances of police brutality? Some police violate our rights, do illegal searches and seizures with out warrants, and if you aren’t aware of your rights you’ll be taken advantage of. Even if you know your rights, as seen with Sandra Bland, and tell the police officer that they’re violating your rights you have a chance of being murdered or taken to jail because of their incompetence. If a black man killed a cop justice would happen swiftly, as it should, because murder is murder and is illegal in every state. But when a cop kills a civilian, more often than not, they face no penalty, no jail time, and probably paid time off. This movement wants and has the ability to shine light on this important issue within the police and the court system. This movement knows through memory that this has happened time and time again without fail and without conviction to these cops. That’s why the people that make up this movement in protests repetitively chant the names of the black lives lost.

When riots erupt over a murder of a African American man, or a child, or due to a poorly made court decision the media is so quick to label the rioters thugs and animals but when violent and destructive riots of white people erupt over sports teams losing and a pumpkin festival, the media labels them as rowdy. We surely did not label the rioters over the sports team thugs, criminals, or animals. The difference between the two riots was, that one was over the injustice of a people of color, and the other because of pumpkins and sports. The double standard is real, and those riots over sports teams and pumpkins did not get as much attention as the ones over injustice got. The #blacklivesmatter movement have peaceful protests that have never once turned into a riot. When the people respond with violence and rage over the acquittal of police who have murdered an African American life, it’s because they have no more hope that things will change, they’ve been proven over, and over again that history is doomed to repeat itself. When people are hopeless they’ll do whatever they can to get the attention they need and that typically erupts as mobs and riots.

We’re being asked by this movement to use the power of memory not only to remember these names, and to remember that these lives matter, but also to remember that history is doomed to repeat itself if change doesn’t happen. These events that fuel this movement matter because this hashtag is able to document, and track the progression of memory/history. Anyone is able to look up this hashtag and become aware of the injustices that have been happening for a very long time. This hashtag would virtually connect everyone to see everything that is related to this movement, and would help store and immediately recall any information at someone’s fingertips. If this movement is successful we won’t be seeing history through the eyes of white privilege anymore, we’ll start seeing it in a less biased/eurocentric way. We’re going to have to rewrite our history to be correct, not hiding the genocides, not hiding what the government has done and what Americans don’t want to talk about. It will rewrite the way we view our presidents with the policies they’ve agreed to whether it was a good policy or a policy that had us fund money and train soldiers to take over another countries. White privilege is having history taught to us in a Eurocentric view, and having that history mandatory in the curriculum, while Black Studies and Chicano Studies is taught as an elective. This movement, #blacklivesmatter, has the power to externalize memories onto the internet for everyone who decides to look up this hashtag to see. It also has the power to rewrite history and make the oppression, genocide, racism, and discrimination they still face be known to everyone internationally, in hopes that there will be a day history won’t repeat itself.