Jonathan Bachman / Reuters

In the United States, Memorial Day—which will be observed on Monday—is a holiday intended to honor veterans who died in service. Memorializing tragedy is deeply inscribed in American culture as part of the nation’s response to traumatic events. But it’s hard to memorialize a traumatic event without instigating trauma, and it may be especially difficult for memorials of shootings in particular. Do memorials of shootings, like the one underway in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, help—and, if so, how? Karen Yuan investigates.

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