The controversial history and debate surrounding Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial is perhaps a good analogy to describe our changing attitude towards memory, pain and its architecture. Conceived in 1980, when Lin was stil a student at Yale, as a competition proposal, the Memorial went as far as offending a number of people for whom the black granite, the symbolic act of "wounding" the earth and watching it heal through an artificial "scar" was deemed as disrespectful towards the dead ones. She however claimed it never had a political connotation, but rather was a place where people were to face their grief, look at it and slowly move on. And indeed "facing the grief" is what last century was very much about but in the place of the talkative discourse of the Holocaust, contemporary memorials are silent, comforting and in a way, humanly. They are an architecture which steps back and lets life move on yet leaving a clear mark.