6 memorials that made an impact on us

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The world has had a tumultuous history. Along with all the beautiful landscapes, the amazing architectural feats, and incredible people and stories that have been… the world has had its fair share of heartache and heartbreak and gut wrenching stories of war and/or natural disasters. Memorials are sometimes set up to mark the lives lost. We always find these memorials very haunting and moving.

But memorials are not only for sad events, they also mark important people and events. In this post, we’ve rounded up the memorials that we have visited that made an impact on us. Not that any of the others were less notable or less important, we particularly wanted to share these 6.

And in no particular order,

1. The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania, we’ve previously shared a photo essay of it and still get goosebumps thinking about this place. The information around its history is a little hazy but in essence it is a memorial to lives lost. The number of crosses erected in this place is unknown but is estimated to be around 100,000. We’ve never seen anywhere else quite like it.


2. The Memorial Cenotaph framing the peace flame and the A-Bomb Dome as part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan. The park itself is dedicated to Hiroshima, the first city ever to suffer a nuclear attack, in memory of the victims.

The A-Bomb dome that you can see in the distance, is what remains of the former Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. This building was at the centre of the where the bomb exploded. IMG_1111

3. In 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch in New Zealand, killing 185 people. This is a temporary art installation commemorating the lives lost on that February day. There was 185 different chairs painted white, each marking one of the lives lost.  IMG_1179

4. Seeing the one in Christchurch, reminded us immediately of the one we saw in Krakow, Poland. Thirty-three chairs on deportation site, each one representing the 1,000 Jewish victims of the Krakow Ghetto during World War II. IMG_1578

5. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, USA is something we had only ever seen in TV shows and movies. This statue is probably one of the most notable things that we wanted to see during our visit to DC and it certainly did not disappoint. Honouring the 16th President of the USA, it stands at about 5.8 meters. The walls inside the monument are inscribed with Lincoln’s inaugural speech and Gettysburg speech. IMG_3256

6. And possibly the most significant one for us as Australians was the Memorial by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli in Turkey.

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours…
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”
– Ataturk, 1934


What memorial have you visited that made an impact on you? 


25 thoughts on “6 memorials that made an impact on us

    Jaspreet Soni said:
    November 25, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Memorials are a mark of respect to a person or events of the past. The list of 6 memorials shared by you is not known to many and thus your post will surely be liked by many of your readers. Thanks for sharing it with us.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 26, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment 🙂 We are so pleased to hear that you appreciated this post!

    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) said:
    November 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Great idea for a thought provoking post. I remember seeing your post on the field of crosses and that was the first time I came to know of it. Very moving and would love to see it myself one day. I remember how moving and upsetting it was the first and only time so far that I’ve seen the site of an old world war 2 concentration camp in Germany – it was a lot to process as a 14 year old!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 21, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Yes, when we see memorials that mark death or turmoil, they are always very moving. It puts a lot about life into perspective., doesn’t it?
      Hope you have been well and planning your next getaway 🙂

    Gypsy Bev said:
    November 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Great article! I’m not sure this is considered a memorial, but the mounds were built to honor their leader and provide burial space. It serves as a memory of those people who passed our way long ago.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 11, 2015 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you …. Yes, not necessarily names as a memorial sometimes but if it serves as a memory … then guess it can be considered a memorial 🙂

    Ian and Sue said:
    November 9, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    You nailed it. Very good. The holocaust memorial at Berlin is also very different

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 9, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      Thanks guys 🙂 Yes, we did think of including the holocaust memorial too… we can still recall standing amongst it almost 10 years ago…Thank you for reading and for leaving us a comment!

    Diana said:
    November 9, 2015 at 8:03 am

    what a moving post….

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 9, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      Visiting memorials can definitely be very moving!!

    Mani (A New Life Wandering) said:
    November 9, 2015 at 6:44 am

    Wow very interesting. I don’t think I have visited many memorials, it’s not something I think about when I travel. Hmm…

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 9, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks for reading… yeh, memorials come in all different styles, we had to just recognise it as such 🙂

    CrazyChineseFamily said:
    November 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    I actually cant think of any memorial I have ever visited that made an impact on me. But I think it is because all I have visited are military memorials around here my city and I am so used to them

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 8, 2015 at 9:28 am

      Yes…memorials seem to be often about military or military-related but certainly we have found they can be about other things and about other people too.
      Plus, sometimes we visit things and they are not specifically labelled as a memorial but it still is in memory of something or someone.

        CrazyChineseFamily said:
        November 8, 2015 at 9:35 am

        Certainly the military memorials move me as well, specially the one in my town (name Heldenshain / Heroes Grove before now it’s Friedenshain / Peace Grove) which was originally build after WWI and rebuild with huge boulders with names after WWII (my father helped building it as a child) moves me every time I go there. Also the German army is leaving flowers there on certain celebration days

    badfish said:
    November 7, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Two come to mind: the Little Big Horn Battlefield in Montana, where almost 300 cavalry and General Custer died fighting Lakota and Cheyenne. A vast field of tall grass makes you stop to wonder jwtf.
    And the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. gives you chills, and also makes you wonder jwtf. When are humans going to stop acting like this, so we don’t need memorials to this kind of horror?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 8, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Yes! The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was also quite moving. We haven’t seen the Little Big Horn Battlefield. We did see a few other sites in the other area though. We really enjoy that part of the USA.

    Too Mutch For Words said:
    November 7, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    What a touching idea for a post! I appreciate it when bloggers remind me that traveling isn’t entirely about beaches and cocktails, but about history and personal reflection…

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 8, 2015 at 9:23 am

      Thank you for your comment 🙂 Interesting you say that … because when we travel, we definitely tend to focus in on the history and nature. Yet being so close to beaches in Sydney, we hardly ever go… 😉

    the eternal traveller said:
    November 7, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    It’s funny you should ask that question. My next post, scheduled to publish next week, is about the HMAS Sydney II Memorial in Geraldton which commemorates the sinking of the Sydney off the coast of WA during WW2. The symbolism is almost overwhelming and after we had spent quite some time there my husband remarked about what an amazing war memorial it is.

    It’s important to remember these events, not just wars and tragedies, but also people who have changed our world.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 8, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Ahhh…. interesting! Looks like great minds thinks alike 😉
      Thanks for sharing that… we will wait for your post 🙂

    Yuna said:
    November 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve visited only two memorial this far; both in Australia which were Australian War Memorial and Anzac War Memorial.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 8, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Hi Yuna – yes we have been to both of those. But strangely we couldn’t find our photos of them…..

    Yvonne said:
    November 7, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    The Deportation memorial, on the Ile de la Cite in Paris. It’s stark and melancholy. http://www.cheminsdememoire.gouv.fr/en/memorial-des-martyrs-de-la-deportation

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 8, 2015 at 9:19 am

      Hmmm… don’t think we saw this when we were in Paris. Might have to take c loser look now at the link. Thanks 🙂

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