Whether you are a history buff, a student of a military history degree, or just someone who likes to learn as much as they can while on vacation, visiting war memorials is an incredible experience. Often, memorials are used to educate and warn people about the dangers of war, as well as giving people a place to remember and pay their respects.
A visit to a war memorial is often very upsetting as it gives you a chance to stop and truly think about what happened on that particular spot in a way that we don’t do in everyday life. Well-preserved memorials are a wonderful way to commemorate those who lost their lives. Here are some of the best war memorials from around the world.
Thiepval Memorial, to the Missing of the Somme
It’s important to remember that an awful lot of victims of war are never found. Some bodies are never returned and their families are forever wondering if they were killed or captured. The Thiepval Memorial in Authuille, France, remembers and pays tribute to the 72,246 missing servicemen who died during the battle of the Somme in WW1.
The Australian War Memorial, Canberra
The first places we think of when it comes to war are often Europe, America, and the Middle-East. Australia is probably one of the last, as it is now seen as such a peaceful nation. However, it is important not to forget that as part of the Commonwealth, Australian servicemen fought in many great wars. The Memorial features a military history museum, which is thought to be one of the best in the world and proves that education is sometimes the best form of remembrance.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Germany
Those who haven’t studied an online military history degree or who have very little knowledge of World War Two often incorrectly assume that the conflict was simply one between Germany and the Allies. In fact, most of the Jews victimized, murdered, shamed, and tortured were German people.
The Nazi took the lives of more German Jews than any other group. The Berlin memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe seeks to remember all the victims of the Holocaust. It does this in the form of a grid of 2,711 concrete slabs and an underground “place of information” which holds the names of around 3 million Jewish Holocaust victims. This site seeks to remind the world of how easily anti-Semitism can cause an incredible amount of pain and suffering.
Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania
The battle of Gettysburg is one of the most famous from the American Civil War. There are many monuments and places to learn more, in and around the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. Guided tours are also available.
Visiting a war memorial or monument can be a harrowing experience. Some even consider it to be dark and morbid. However, it can also be exceptionally peaceful and change you in a good way. Being forced to think about the atrocities often makes us grateful for our own lives and can make people think twice about their own behaviors in the future.