How to remember? One of the most important answers to this quandary historically has been to connect "memory" and "place." Classical rhetoricians thus highlighted the power of loci memoriae to aid the memory of the orator. Cicero's De Oratore recommends selecting a specific locality, drawing out facts and details, but also attaching specific mental images to the locality. Consequently, durable constellations of images, ideas, and feels are anchored and durably preserved in places. The twentieth-century concept of the lieux de mémoire continues this line of thinking. The French historian Pierre Nora not only chronicled, but argued for the necessity of "sites of memory" such as monuments and museums in which national memory could be "incarnated" and serve as an orientation for individuals and the community.
What happens, however, to site-anchored memory practices when people and places are separated? How are communal "sites of memory" transformed in the wake of community destruction or dissolution? Does memory dissipate or is it transformed in these localities? How far do the memories of people, places, and communities reach?