Monday, July 30, 2012

Americas Wars Memoralised

Along the Mall in Washington DC is not only the iconic monuments that the world is pretty familiar with, but each of America's past wars also have a space of remembrance - each pretty impressive in their own right.

The first as you walk towards Lincoln from the Washington Monument, is the World War II Memorial. This oval water feature is surrounded by columns representing each US state, and the Pacific and Atlantic efforts. This memorial also features the Freedom Wall, which 4049 gold stars and has the marking "the price of freedom", each star representative of 10 American lives lost or missing during this battle.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is on the North side of the site of the Reflecting Pool, and stands as black granite with about 58000 names of the men and women fallen to this war, also with a little cross next to the names missing in action.

The names listed across the two sides of the wall are done some in chronological order, and marks the vast waste of life. The design of the memorial is aimed to give no political statement about this battle, but the sheer size and volume of names speaks for itself.

It brought to mind that speech former Australian Prime Minister gave at the Gallipoli Dawn Service in 2005, about how war not only robs the world of these people who have died, but also of their potential. Their feats at home, maybe academically, scientifically and within humanitarian achievements, their potential loves and children leading to future generations, all lost because of war.

On the South side of the Reflecting Pool is the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and is the most eeriest and surreal monument. It is a section of garden, with statues placed through it decked in true equipment as they would have been during this era, and a wall showing faces etches from actual photos from the National Archives of the personnel of this war.

There are 19 soldiers here, representing a ratio of ethnic cross section of the numbers lost in this battle. The men are staggered in formation, and yet quite alone in each one's stalking of the jungle - it's such a real sense of what it may have been like to be on patrol like this. So powerful.

So many of these sites include words from great beings at the time, talking of protecting freedoms and human rights, and upholding justice and world peace. It's really quite sad taking these in, when considering the state of the world at the moment.

The most powerful wording for me was found at the FDR Memorial near by, etched on these stones:

1 comment:

  1. I think I found the Vietnam Nurses' Memorial the most moving, closely followed by the Korean War Memorial. I think it's the expressions on the statues' faces that does it for me, and it's something that you don't get with the WWII memorial or the Vietnam memorial.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...