Published: May 25, 2012

This is a country awash in monuments. They are the centerpieces of traffic circles, street corners and, of course, the National Mall. We have erected them to Rosie the Riveter and Confederate generals. Yet our ambivalence towards these monuments is as old as our enthusiasm for them. Case in point: The Washington Monument. Ever wonder why there isn’t actually a image of Washington on it?

In this Memorial Day episode of BackStory, we take on national remembrance. By looking at some of our country’s most iconic monuments, the Guys ask what—and whom—Americans choose to remember. They discover that memorials often tell us more about their creators than what or whom they memorialize.