Image: WWII Memorial, Canberra, Creative Commons CC0.
With Barack Obama visiting Hiroshima and Vietnam, and Memorial Day around the corner, the US is awash in memories of its wars and those lost in them. We’re turning to our archives to extend the commemoration to those who fought in other conflicts around the world. In our October 2013 issue of African women writers, Haregu Keleta’s “The Girl Who Carried a Gun” tracks a teenager who flees an arranged marriage to join the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in the war against Ethiopia. From the first part of our Arab Spring issue in July 2011, Leïla Marouane’s former activist, now held prisoner in her own home by her fanatic brother in the fallout of the Algerian Civil War, asks, “Is This How Women Grow Up?” And in our May 2011 Afghanistan issue, Mohammad Hussain Mohammadi channels the desperation of the Taliban captives crammed into Northern Alliance containers for transport in the devastating “Dasht-e Leili.” These tales, and the accounts of many other battles in our archives, serve to expand our understanding of conflicts throughout the world; and remind us that wars, like stories, have more than one side.