This poster focuses on three mediums of commemoration: the monument, the memorial, and the museum as tools of state-sanctioned memory creation, and thereby spaces for politicized rituals of memory which further state-building projects. Specifically, during and after The Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) the al-Shaheed Monument (1983), and the Victory Arch (1989) in Baghdad and the Martyrs’ Museum (1996) in Tehran functioned as politically strategic representations of collective trauma. Both the Ba'ath party in Iraq and the emerging Islamic Republic in Iran used these sites to render and politicize memories of violence and loss. Despite obvious differences, the projects in Baghdad and Tehran appealed to a need to address national trauma while bolstering idealized images of statehood. The Ba'athist party under Saddam Hussein capitalized on the collective trauma of the Iraq-Iran war to further a hegemonic Sunni identity, which was both religious and political. The use of immense scale, vulgar displays of power, and Islamic imagery in both the al-Shaheed Monument and Victory Arch linked Sunni and Ba'athist causes and allowed Hussein to characterize the Iran-Iraq War as a sacred project of national and religious vindication. Similarly, the Martyrs’ Museum in Tehran constructs a specific version of history using motifs of the Battle of Karbala, Imam Husayn, martyr and civilian deaths, and blood to tie Iranian national identity to ritualized Shia martyrdom. The Martyrs’ Museum parallels the religification of national identity as seen in Iraq, and configures death as a public, religiopolitical act. Despite Ba'athist Iraq's secular self-image, the strategic harnessing of trauma both Iraq and Iran demonstrates a constructed connection between political state hegemony, religious practice, and rituals of grief. In these ways, state propagated imagery through physical commemorations of the Iran-Iraq War furthered the political – and resulting religious – sectarian divide in the official positions of the two nations.