Importance of Historical Monuments


A monument is something that gives people a place to come visit and remember those who have died. The need for so many to memorialize events is an important one and shouldn’t be overlooked. When a monument is being constructed, and the effect it will have on its audience, the event that it is remembered for, and the names of people who need to be mourned are all carefully considered, the memorial itself can be very effective and commemorate a deep sacrifice made or honor a moment of outstanding humanity. 

When a company or agency is considering building a monument, one very important thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the effect it will have on the people who go to visit it. It is essential that the monument itself will speak “to a deep need for attachment that can be met only in a real place” (Savage). The point of memorializing an event or person is for people to connect and understand what happened in history. In order for that to happen, the monument must be built in a way that will make people have an experience that “is not exactly in the realm of imagination or reason, but grounded in the felt connection of the individual to the collective body” (Savage). If those who attend the monument aren’t able to learn and connect with the past and the history that took place in order for it to be commissioned, there really is no point in having it built at all. 

Another integral part of building a monument is having an event or person that needs to be remembered. If there is nothing to commemorate, why build a monument at all? In Washington DC, a man by the name of H. Elroy Johnson who made his living by trapping lobsters, posed for a sculpture of himself, but it was never fully completed. In fact it “was vandalized, repaired, and ended up in a warehouse where it was eaten by rats” (Roadside America). There was no important reason for this sculpture to be finished, so it never was. However, once the man died “a bronze cast was finally made of the statue” (Roadside America). Once H. Elroy Jonson was no longer alive, he needed to be remembered, hence the statue being completed. Whether or not there is an event that needs to be recalled is an important factor in considering building something as important as a monument.

Finally, something that is often overlooked when building a monument, is adding the names of the people who were involved in the event. Using and including names help personalize the monument and, like stated before, increase the effect it will have on the people who will visit. In some instances, there is no need to embellish or over-design it, simply “[t]he people and their names would allow everyone to respond and remember” (Lin). Putting the individual names of those who died in an event can help connect visitors to it. It can “create a unity between the nation’s past and present” (Lin). A monument that includes names is more personal and commemorates, not just the event itself, but the people who were involved as well

The need for people to remember those who have died, events that have shaped history is an important one. Which is why the building of monuments to commemorate those things is so crucial to society. It helps people remember their history and those who came before them. But a company cannot just build a monument without thinking some things through first. They must understand how to best connect the people who are visiting the monument so it will have the best effect possible. Also, it is important for a monument to be built for a person or event that needs to be remembered. There is no point in having a monument for something that no one wants or needs to commemorate. Lastly, adding the names of the people involved in an event can dramatically increase the effectiveness of a monument. The strength in a name can make all of the difference. Monuments can seem so simple, but so much can go into making them turn out the way they do.

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