Learning about how war and death are commemorated is the purpose of this site.
Throughout recorded history, there are monuments, both grand and simple, that help to remember sacrifices made by humans in time of conflict and war. By studying these various commemorations, one can learn about the societies that built them, and compare social values and responses to conflict.
Memorials and commemorations can be used to provide a variety of information. As part of your learning experience, you will use the memorials provided on this site to learn about the specific memorial, as well as the society that constructed it.
Commemorations help societies think about themselves and to create memories of events. This may or may not be historically accurate but helps to produce or preserve the memory of the event. Societies use commemorations to forge consensus of memory -- either locally or nationally -- to traumatic events and so often use important symbols to reinforce the ideas, values or beliefs that might have been threatened by the event. Rulers use memorials to reinforce their ideas or to introduce new ones. Thus, they can be used, as Antoine Prost asserted in post World War I France, to defend and promote the cause of freedom no matter the cost, or to promote the glory of the emperor as on Trajan's column.
This site contains photos of memorials of various types from around the world, as well as historical information on the memorial itself. For some of the more well-known sites, there are additional materials that describe, define or clarify the memorial further. Finally, this is a teaching site and so a pedagogy for using this site to teach students is provided.
You may feel free to use the worksheets and suggestions in your classes. Please let me know how you have used these materials with your students.
NewsMarch 15, 2011
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Searching is the easiest way to discover how the site is organized. Memorials are organized into time periods, then specific events within those time periods with albums for single memorials within those events. Click on any of the time periods above to get started, or select the search option to the left.