Essential Travel Experience #58 – Remember at a Memorial

    There are memorials everywhere there is human habitation. We try to never forget our heroes and our sacred dead. Every tombstone is, in effect, a memorial. Some of these memorials, however, have a larger significance; they are a way to remember particularly influential and important people or events, things that transcend the everyday.

     These memorials often become shrines, places of devotion and reverence. They are certainly found all over the world and are frequently on the tourist scene for their special significance. Here are some rather poignant ones that we have encountered over the years.

     One of Washington, DC’s most sacred memorials is the Vietnam Memorial, a lasting tribute to the thousands of young men and women who gave their lives in the first war that the United State ever lost. The “Wall” which actually tours the country (at least a miniature version) from time to time, contains the names of all the servicemen who are dead or missing from the war.

Vietnam War Memorial

Besides the wall, there are two (2) other sculptures nearby which make up the remainder of the memorial. There are three (3) soldiers

Vietnam War Memorial - Soldiers

 and another depicting women in the war.

Vietnam War Memorial - Women

 On of my favorite memorials is the Einstein Memorial — I was a Science teacher during my working life — which, appropriately, is on the grounds of the National Science Foundation, just across the street from the National Mall.

Einstein Memorial

 In nearby Arlinton, Virginia, the famous Iwo Jima Memorial pays tribute to the Marines who fought in the battles of the Pacific.

Iwo Jima Memorial

 Also in DC, on the National Mall, are the Korean War Memorial

Korean War Memorial

 and the more recent World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial

 An entirely different type of memorial can be found at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. This memorial immortalizes one of horse racing’s greatest thoroughbreds, Man o’ War.

Man o' War Memorial

 Kittyhawk, North Carolina is the fitting home of the Wright Brothers Memorial since this is where they made their first flight, launching the era of air travel.

Wright Brothers Memorial

 On the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida, is the Astronaut Memorial, dedicated to the men and women who gave their lives in connection with space travel.

Astronaut Memorial

 Also in Florida, Miami has one of the most moving of the Holocaust Memorials. It can be found in Miami Beach.

Holocaust Memorial, Miami Beach

 A close-up of the arm reveals individuals falling from or clinging to it.

Close-up - Holocaust Memorial

In New England, we have a Fisherman’s Memorial, in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Fisherman's Memorial

a Roger Williams Memorial, in Providence, Rhode Island

Roger Williams Memorial

 One of the most moving memorials in the world is the Arizona Memorial, in Pearl Harbor, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The memorial is built over the sunken ship (which still contains the remains of many of the sailors), and you can still watch oil bubble up from the battleship, sunk by the Japanese on December 7, 1941.

USS Arizona Memorial

There are memorials in Europe as well. Edinburgh as the Sir Walter Scott Memorial.

Sir Walter Scott Memorial

Spain has its Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen), a war memorial dedicated to all who have given their lives for their country.

Valle de los Caidos

 London has its Albert Memorial, on the edge of Hyde Park.

Albert Memorial

Finally, Vienna has one of Lee’s favorites, the Johann Strauss Memorial, dedicated to the “Waltz King.”

Strauss Memorial


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