In his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln committed the American people to a new kind of remembrance, one that obligated the living to remember the war dead "that that nation might live." Americans did not shirk from this duty and set out to create new symbolism, monuments, and rituals befitting a new national commemoration tradition. Could the invention of these new traditions last over time especially as the United States pursued an imperialistic policy in the Plains and in the Philiipines? Would soldiers who fought and died for this empire in the tropics of Cuba, or in French trenches during the First World War, or, more recently in the sands of Iraq, Afghanistan, or Niger receive the same recognition and honor from the living? This is a book about how Americans remember the past, commemorate the war dead, and cover over their imperialistic realities with the symbolism and rituals of Republicanism. In short, it is a study of how we use the war dead to collectively forget and culturally remember.