For an altogether touching, humbling and historically educational experience, do not miss out on these incredible war memorials found around the world.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. is a truly eye-opening display and one that was questioned for its risky architecture before construction. Designed by a student at Yale, the black granite is sleek, modern and mostly unadorned, apart from listing more than 58,000 deceased and missing.
The monument was dedicated in 1982. Relatives are invariably found at the site, creating etchings of the names or taking photographs. It is located in the Washington, D.C., National Mall.
Valor in the Pacific Monument
The Valor in the Pacific Monument is spread over several separate sites. It not only honors those who lost their lives while fighting in the Pacific during World War II, but also all the lives lost during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
Despite additional locations in California and Alaska, the most recognized are in Hawaii. The USS Memorial (only accessible via boat) being easily the most popular. Countless tourists come from all over the world to see the Monument. It can get extremely crowded during peak hours and seasons.
The Motherland Calls
Not receiving nearly enough recognition, The Motherland Calls is a beautiful and magnanimous memorial located in Volgograd, Russia. It honors those who participated in the Battle of Stalingrad in WWII. It stands two times as tall as Rio’s Christ the Redeemer.
No longer the world’s biggest statue, it is recognized as the largest statue of a woman in the world. It features a shapely woman with arms and sword extended, calling the people to their destiny and victory.
Memorial of the Deportation
In Paris, the Memorial of the Deportation is situated in a convenient spot for visitors. It is located near Notre Dame Cathedral and was dedicated in 1962. It remembers those who were deported from Vichy France to Nazi concentration camps.
The unique and beautiful architecture forms a small underground chamber accessed by two staircases. There are also two chapels and a rotunda. Inside the small, windowless room is the tomb of the unknown deportee. Soft, glowing golden lights represent those 200,000 people who were deported during World War II by Nazi Germany.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Located in Berlin, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is an abstract memorial that makes its mark. It is made up of 2,711 concrete slabs. All are of different heights and are differently spaced apart. Therefore it is necessary to walk single file between them. The slabs get higher and higher the further through the monument traveled, demanding visitors stop to pay attention to the display. The way the space around them is created can make them feel uncomfortable.
There is an information center on one side that offers various educational resources regarding the Holocaust. Visitors are mostly left to their own devices to decide how they feel about this artistic landmark.
Shoes on the Danube Bank
In Budapest, visitors will find dozens of iron shoes, all lined up along the river bank in the form of a unique monument. While some may not think of the Holocaust as reaching as far as Hungary, it most certainly did.
They represent the place where hundreds of Hungarian Jews left their shoes on the banks of the Danube River, as the military forced them into its waters during World War II.
Monument to the Battle of Nations
This is the largest monument in all of Europe. The massive structure is located in Leipzig, Germany. It was built to honor those who died in the 1813 Battle of Leipzig. Before World War I, it was the largest battle ever fought. There were more than 600,000 participants, as the Germans struggled to ward off Napoleon’s forces during what was the bloodiest of all the Napoleonic battles.
The monument also features a large pool and statues, as well as a crypt, and can be seen from all around the surrounding area.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
An outdoor monument also located in Washington D.C.’s National Mall, the Korean War Veterans Memorial is striking. It features 19 large stainless steel statues depicting soldiers as they would have been conducting their daily business.
The triangular green space commemorates more than 54,000 soldiers who died and 103,000 soldiers who were wounded during the three-year war.
Beyond the soldiers is a black granite wall showing etchings of photographs found in the U.S. National Archives.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Following the devastating destruction caused by the A-bomb dropped on Japan in 1945, one of the few buildings still standing was the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. The remains of the building have been left. A plaque at the site tells visitors, “Let all the souls here rest in peace. For we shall not repeat the evil.”
It is a highly sorrowful reminder of the cost of warfare, and the actions taken to end World War II.
Monument to the Women of World War II
A British national war memorial, the Monument to the Women of World War II is relatively new, unveiled to the public in 2005.
It recognizes the important role women played during the war and uses the type of font often found on ration books. The different sets of clothing surrounding the monument represent all the distinct roles women played during World War II, from nurses to factory workers.