War memorials

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The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, England.
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The 82-meter-tall monument "The Motherland Calls! — the tallest statue in the world when erected in 1967, Volgograd, Russia
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German memorial commemorating World War I.
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India Gate, National Monument of India in New Delhi.
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Monument to the Heroes of the Warsaw Uprising in Poland.
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The Liberty Memorial, National World War I Memorial of the USA in Kansas City, Missouri.
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Soviet memorial to soldiers killed in two battles during World War II on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia.


A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or (predominating in modern times) to commemorate those who died or were injured in war.

Symbolism

Historic usage

For most of human history war memorials were erected to commemorate great victories. Remembering the dead was a secondary concern. Indeed in Napoleon's day the dead were shoveled into mass, unmarked graves. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris or Nelson's Column in London contain no names of those killed. By the end of the nineteenth century it was common for regiments in the British Army to erect monuments to their comrades who had died in small Imperial Wars and these memorials would list their names. By the early twentieth century some towns and cities in the United Kingdom raised the funds to commemorate the men from their communities who had fought and died in the Second Anglo-Boer War. However it was after the great losses of the First World War that commemoration took center stage and most communities erected a war memorial listing those men and women who had gone to war and not returned.

Modern usage

In modern times the main intent of war memorials is not to glorify war, but to honour those who have died. Sometimes, as in the case of the Warsaw Genuflection of Willy Brandt, they may also serve as focal points of increasing understanding between previous enemies.

Using modern technology an international project is currently archiving all war graves and memorials to create a virtual memorial (see The British War Memorial Project for further details).

History

World War I

During the First World War, many nations saw massive devastation and loss of life. In response, most cities in the countries involved in the conflict erected memorials, and the memorials in smaller villages and towns often listed the names of each local soldier who had been killed. Massive monuments commemorating thousands of dead with no identified war grave, such as the Menin Gate at Ypres and the Thiepval memorial on the Somme, were also constructed.

World War II and later

In many cases, the World War I memorials were later extended to also show the names of locals who died in the Second World War. Since that time memorials to the dead in other conflicts such as the Second World War and the Vietnam War have also noted individual contributions, at least in the West. In the Soviet Union, China, Japan and other nations, memorials remained communalistic with long lists of names being far rarer.

Types

  • A war memorial can be an entire building, often containing a museum, or just a simple plaque. Many war memorials take the form of a monument or statue, and serve as a meeting place for Memorial Day services. As such, they are often found near the centre of town, or contained in a park or plaza to allow easy public access.
  • Many war memorials bear plaques listing the names of those that died in battle. Sometimes these lists can be very long. Some war memorials are dedicated to a specific battle, while others are more general in nature and bear inscriptions listing various theatres of war.
  • Many war memorials have epitaphs relating to the unit, battle or war they commemorate. For example an epitaph which adorns numerous memorials in Commonwealth countries is "The Ode" by Laurence Binyon:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead.
There are none of these so lonely and poor of old,
but dying has made us rarer gifts than gold.
I have fought the good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today
  • The Memorial Flag of the Royal Military College of Canada consisted of a Union Jack on a backgound adorned with 1100 green maple leaves bearing name of ex-cadets who served in war. The red maple leaves in centre memorialized cadets who made the supreme sacrifice.
  • The Memorial stairway in the administration building of Royal Military College of Canada is lined with paintings of ex-cadets who died on military service.

In cemeteries

Many cemeteries tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have an identical war memorial called the Cross of Sacrifice designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield that varies in height from 4.5m to 9m depending on the size of the cemetery. If there are one thousand or more burials, a Commonwealth cemetery will contain a Stone of Remembrance, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens with words from Ecclesiasticus: "Their name liveth for evermore"; all the Stones of Remembrance are 3.5m long and 1.5m high with three steps leading up to them.

Arlington National Cemetery has a Canadian Cross of Sacrifice with the names of all the citizens of the USA who lost their lives fighting in the Canadian forces during the Korean War and two World Wars.

Controversy

Unsurprisingly, war memorials can be politically controversial. A notable example is the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan, where a number of convicted World War II war criminals are interred. Chinese and Korean representatives have often protested against the visits of Japanese politicians to the shrine. The visits have in the past led to severe diplomatic conflicts between the nations, and Japanese businesses were attacked in China after a visit by former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the shrine was widely reported and criticised in Chinese and Korean media.[1]

In a similar case, former German chancellor Helmut Kohl was criticised by writer Günter Grass and Elie Wiesel for visiting the war cemetery at Bitburg (in the company of Ronald Reagan) which also contained the bodies of SS troops.[2] Unlike the case of the Yasukuni Shrine, there was no element of intentional disregard of international opinion involved, as is often claimed for the politician visits to the Japanese shrine.

Soviet WWII memorials included quotes of Joseph Stalin's texts, frequenty replaced after his death. Such memorials were often constructed in city centres and now are sometimes regarded as symbols of Soviet occupation and removed, which in turn may spark protests (see Bronze Soldier of Tallinn).

Famous examples

See also

References

External links

General:
  • Sites of Memory (Historical markers, memorials, monuments, and cemeteries worldwide)
United Kingdom: United States: France: Other nations:
WAR is a three-letter abbreviation with multiple meanings, as described below:
  • War
  • War (band)
  • War (film), a 2007 movie starring Jet Li and Jason Statham
  • Warrenton Railroad (AAR reporting marks WAR)
  • WAR, a Japanese professional wrestling promotion

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Victory may refer to:
  • Winning a competition or battle
  • Pyrrhic victory, a victory at heavy cost to the victor

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memorial is an object which serves as a memory of something, usually a person (who has died) or an event.

Popular forms of memorials include landmark objects such as statues or fountains (and even entire parks).

The most common type of memorial is the gravestone.
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Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris that stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly the Place de l'Étoile, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The arch honours those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars, and today also includes
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Nelson's Column is a monument in Trafalgar Square, London, England.

The column was built between 1840 and 1843 to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The 5.5 m (18 ft) statue of Nelson stands on top of a 46 m (151 ft) granite column.
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The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. It came into being with unification of the governments and armed forces of England and Scotland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.
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Motto
"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
Anthem
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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Civilians killed [mainly Boers] : 24,000+

The Second Boer War (Dutch: Tweede Boerenoorlog, Afrikaans: Tweede Vryheidsoorlog) , commonly referred to as The Boer War and also known as the South African War
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Warschauer Kniefall (German for "Warsaw Genuflection") refers to a gesture of humility and penance by social democratic Chancellor of Germany Willy Brandt towards the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
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Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm (December 18, 1913 - October 8, 1992), was a German politician, Chancellor of West Germany 1969 – 1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) 1964 – 1987.
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Clockwise from top: Trenches on the Western Front; a British Mark IV tank crossing a trench; Royal Navy battleship HMS Irresistible sinking after striking a mine at the Battle of the Dardanelles; a Vickers machine gun crew with gas masks, and German Albatros D.
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war grave is a place where war dead are buried. It may contain either a combatant or a civilian. Although the victim does not need to die directly from enemy action, the main reason for calling a grave a war grave is that the death occurred as a result of active service by the
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Menin Gate Memorial at the eastern exit of the town of Ypres (known as "Ieper" in Flemish) in Flanders, Belgium, marks the starting point for one of the main roads out of the town that led Allied soldiers to the front line during World War I.
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Geography
Country Belgium
Community Flemish Community
Region
Province West Flanders
Arrondissement Ypres
Coordinates
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Allied powers:
 Soviet Union
 United States
 United Kingdom
 China
 France
...et al. Axis powers:
 Germany
 Japan
 Italy
...et al.
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Allied powers:
 Soviet Union
 United States
 United Kingdom
 China
 France
...et al. Axis powers:
 Germany
 Japan
 Italy
...et al.
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Total dead: ~314,000
Total wounded: ~1,490,000
North Vietnam and NLF
dead and missing: ~1,100,000 [1] [2] [3] [4]
wounded: ~600,000+ [5]
People's Republic of China
dead: 1,446
wounded: 4,200

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Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (abbreviated USSR, Russian: ; tr.
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This page contains Chinese text.
Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
China (Traditional Chinese:
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If you are prevented from editing this page, and you wish to make a change, please discuss changes on the talk page, request unprotection, log in, or .
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museum is a "permanent institution in the service of society and of its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits, for purposes of study, education, enjoyment, the tangible and intangible
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statue is a sculpture depicting a specific entity, usually a person, event, animal or object. Its primary concern is representational.

A small statue is called statuette. A statue of just a head and shoulders is a bust.
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epitaph (ἐπιτάφιος literally: "on the gravestone" in ancient Greek) is text honoring the deceased, most commonly inscribed on a tombstone or plaque.
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Robert Laurence Binyon (August 10, 1869 at Lancaster – March 10, 1943 at Reading, Berkshire) was an English poet, dramatist and art scholar. His most famous work For the Fallen is well known for being used in Remembrance Sunday services.
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A triumphal arch is a structure in the shape of a monumental archway, in theory built to celebrate a victory in war, actually usually to celebrate a ruler. The classical triumphal arch is a free-standing structure, quite separate from city gates or walls, but the form is often used
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Royal Military College of Canada (RMC), is the military academy of the Canadian Forces and is a full degree-granting university. RMC is the only federal institution with degree granting powers.
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Rupert Chawner Brooke (August 3, 1887 – April 23, 1915) was an English poet known for his idealistic War Sonnets written during the First World War (especially The Soldier), as well as for his poetry written outside of war, especially
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Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean (CMR) is a Canadian military academy located in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec.

In fall 2007, the federal government will reopen the military college at Saint-Jean, which was closed in 1995.
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Allied powers:
 Soviet Union
 United States
 United Kingdom
 China
 France
...et al. Axis powers:
 Germany
 Japan
 Italy
...et al.
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Coordinates:

Kohima pronunciation  
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