After war’s trauma, words don’t work


Story highlights

Ruth Ben-Ghiat: Veterans Day brings words of remembrance. For many, words don't work

She says vets keep quiet about their life-changing experience; others would not understand

She says WWI enshrined this notion. The horrors, and guilt over killing, too great to describe

Ben-Ghiat: It's fitting Veterans Day calls for 2 minutes of silence -- to quietly mark the din of war

Editor’s Note: This is the final commentary in a 11-part series on the legacies of World War I that has appeared on for the 100-year anniversary of the war’s outbreak. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, guest editor for the series, is a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University. A specialist in 20th century European and Italian history, she writes and lectures on the world wars, dictatorships and empire. Her forthcoming book (February 2015) is “Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.