Battle- 'n Home-Fronts: Mission

The mission of Battle- ‘n Home-Fronts is to increase public awareness of the relationship between America’s wars and its sense of shared meaning, to increase public awareness of the relationship between the nation’s battlefronts and the struggles that have characterized life on the home-front. The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are powerful; the myths we live by, though often unexamined, help to shape our relationship to the culture which, in turn, helps to shape each of us. Since before its inception, the United States of America has professed a complex set of inter-related beliefs — about the nation’s purpose and about the responsibility of the citizen to the maintenance and fulfillment of that purpose. Beliefs, ideals, meaning, value — truths we hold to be self-evident — have guided the development of this nation that has struggled, throughout history, to live up to its creed.

Countless individuals and communities have suffered incomprehensibly at the hands of those who exercised a power that did not match their purpose. Despite it all and against all odds, Americans have continued to work, individually and cooperatively, to bring the nation’s actions into closer approximation to its stated beliefs. They have worked, as we work here, to form a more perfect union. Battle- ‘n Home-Fronts provides a robust set of multi-media historical materials that illuminate the development of American ideals through its war eras. Centering the voice of American military service members, we endeavor here to draw public attention to the nation’s moral commitments, to the experience of service in light of those commitments, and to the human cost of war.

Battle- 'n Home-Fronts: Vision

We envision a future in which America’s sailors, soldiers, airmen, marines, and guardsmen are not culturally segregated from the civilian communities whose rights and safety they serve to protect. We envision a future in which the American civilian population is aware of and responsive to the battles fought, at home and abroad, in the interest of liberty and justice for all. We envision a future in which veterans return to a civilian population that honors their past service, and provides for their continued service, through projects of health and wellbeing, though thorough cultural integration, and through historical and civic awareness of the militarism that has persistently characterized their nation. Ultimately, we envision a future wherein war is truly a last resort, engaged only in defense of global human flourishing, and engaged always in awareness of its human cost.

In support of these goals, we envision the creation of an all-ages, interactive civics museum. Such a museum would be located in a populous area hosting a large military population. It would be docented by local college students in service learning programs, and by returning veterans as part of a larger reintegration program. It would be designed cooperatively by scholars, artists, educators, and military personnel. And it would be funded by defense contractors, whose work is dedicated to the furtherance of the nation’s ideals, and whose financial success in that realm might profitably be pressed into service to foster a lived, historically embedded awareness of those ideals among the civilian population.