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MissingPersons and Politics$
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Jenny Edkins

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450297

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450297.001.0001

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Missing in Action

Missing in Action

Chapter:
(p.131) Chapter 6 Missing in Action
Source:
Missing
Author(s):

Jenny Edkins

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801450297.003.0006

This chapter examines the efforts devoted to the identification of those missing in action after the Vietnam War. It considers the tensions produced by the identification of remains as well as the manner of burial and commemoration of casualties of war—a struggle over the bodies of the dead. It argues that these struggles arise in part because of the ambiguity of citizen armies. It shows that relatives of missing in action insist on the demobilization of bodies after a conflict—the return of those lost in war to civilian status and full personhood, and the return of their bodies for burial at home. It also discusses the role of women volunteers in the search for missing in action and in setting up tracing systems.

Keywords:   missing in action, Vietnam War, burial, commemoration, casualties of war, citizen armies, relatives, emobilization of bodies, personhood, women volunteers

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