War Memorials of the World
With the recent observance of Remembrance Day across the Commonwealth, otherwise known as Armistice Day or Veteran's Day in other parts of the world, multiple ceremonies have been held across the world in front of memorials to the dead lost in those terrible wars. With our attention once again being brought to those who sacrificed everything for us, we thought we would write an article about some of the world's most significant war memorials.
The Motherland Calls, Russia
The city of Volgograd may seem more familiar to you when we call it by its former Soviet name - Stalingrad. The site of perhaps the greatest battle of the Second World War, and the turning point on the eastern front, Volgograd has been massively rebuilt since the year 1943 when General Paulus' army was encircled and destroyed by General Zhukov and his Red Army. In the wake of the destruction, the Soviet Union built a great statue of a woman, representing the Russian motherland, urging her sons onwards with sword in hand. At the time of its construction in 1967, it was the largest statue in the world, and remains to date the largest statue in Europe and the biggest statue of a woman worldwide.
Marine Corps War Memorial, USA
The Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington Park commemorates every US Marine who gave their lives for their country going all the way back to the War of Independence in 1776. The memorial itself is a statue built in the likeness of the famous photo of a group of US Marines raising the American flag atop of Mount Suribachi at the battle of Iwo Jima. Dedicated to their memory in 1954, the memorial itself stands as a reminder of every American Marine who fell in action serving their country, and also in the memory of every serviceman who died alongside them.
The Cenotaph, UK
Most familiar to the British readers of this article will be the Cenotaph in London. Every year on the 11th November there is held a sombre parade in memory of all of the soldiers and servicemen who have ever lost their lives fighting for Great Britain. The Queen herself lays a wreath at the foot of the monument to pay her respects to the nation's war dead, a bugler blows the Last Post, and uniformed servicemen from the military and police force salute the monument. Parades at the cenotaph are also held by the Belgian Army, the only foreign army permitted to bear arms and wear uniform in the City of London. While social distancing in the uk has forced these parades to make up fewer personnel this year, remembrance ceremonies have still continued.
Monument to the Battle of Nations, Germany
In the city of Leipzig stands the Monument to the Battle of Nations, one of Europe's largest war memorials. Dedicated to the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, when Napoleon's army was shattered by the armies of Prussia, Austria, Russia, and Sweden, all of whom united along with Great Britain and Portugal in a coalition against the French Emperor and his warmongering in Europe. With Germans fighting on both sides, with many conscripted by the French, the battle is commemorated with sorrow in Germany, but is also celebrated as the great defeat of Napoleon and his invasion of Germany, before his ultimate surrender after the Battle of Waterloo. Standing 91 metres tall, the monument is truly an impressive way to remember the fallen soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars.