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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
When we visited Washington DC, the one monument we were MOST looking forward to was the Lincoln Memorial. Without a doubt, we knew this was to be our entry into this week’s photo challenge.
We were completely in awe when we saw it – the sheer size alone was a great representation of his legacy!
Museums and monuments are everywhere in Washington DC. You turn one way there is one, you turn the other and there are more! And everything in Washington DC is grandiose even the train station, Union Station. There is bound to be something that interests you here – Capitol Hill which we all recognise from movies with a political figure (fictitious or not), Air and Space Museum, American Indian Museum and War Memorials plus more.
But our biggest standouts would be:
- Lincoln Memorial – the size of this just blew us away
- National Archive Museum – really cool seeing all the things they have in “archive”. We began talking about what we could send to the archive museum that they might find useful in future exhibits. After thinking about all our belongings, we couldn’t really come up with anything worldly enough that would fall into the same league as the Magnus Carta or the Declaration of Independence.
Something serious was happening at the White House because the walkway at the front was cordoned off and there were men in black suits patrolling the rooftop. We were instructed by security to keep walking when we stood around asking questions. Our other brush with national security was when we scooted the perimeter of the Pentagon on our coach tour to Gettysburg!
Gettysburg was a very educational experience because prior to this trip we had no idea about confederates and unions. Not a clue about who won, who fought and the significance of the victory. Yes – we were ignorant but now are learned.
Despite all the politics, war history and museum, we did manage to locate a yummy dumpling place for lunch one day – so it wasn’t all American culture that we soaked up in DC.