History TearJerker / MemorialsAndEpitaphs

15th Apr '13 3:33:21 AM SeptimusHeap
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->''Someone has to buy it for you. It's not cheap, and you can't repay them. Just remember what they did.''
-->-- '''An Unknown Troper''', on the price of freedom.


* Most British memorials from the First World War include the words "Their name liveth for evermore" (from ''Ecclesiasticus'') and, for the unidentified dead "A Soldier of the Great War Known Unto God." The words are particularly poignant when you realize that the words were chosen by Rudyard Kipling, whose son was also killed during the war.
** Kipling himself would write a rather poignant poem about this own son's death: "If any question why we died; Tell them, because our fathers lied."
*** Even worse still when you hear the story behind the poem. Kipling's son was near-sighted, however Kipling pressured the Army into taking him on, to be patriotic. In one battle, his glasses were knocked off and, while searching for them, he was shot. Kipling never forgave himself.
--->"Have you news of my boy Jack?"
--->Not this tide.
--->"When d'you think that he'll come back?"
--->Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.
** Almost all French memorials from the First World War include the word "Un Enfant De (town)...Mort Pour La France". Villages that are no more than wide places in the road will have such a memorial with a dozen names.
** In the same vein that the Trope image in Reims, France there is a memorial that ends with these sentence.
---> For the next generations for them to know and to remember
** and then,
---> Memorial of the 1914-1918, built in 1924 rebuilt in 2005 after its destruction in 1945
** There is a [[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/At_Last_Post poem]] written by a poet known only as W.E.K. He died in April 1917.
--->"At Last Post"
--->Come home!—Come home!
--->The winds are at rest in the restful trees:
--->At rest are the waves of the sundown seas:
--->And home—they're home—
--->At home! At ease!
** Many towns destroyed in WWI were never rebuilt, but the map wasn't updated. Where there used to be villages, now are only piles of rocks as memorials for the town and people living there.
** The Devonshire Cemetry in Mametz seems today oddly positioned in a small patch of woods, however on the 1st of July 1916 it was the front line of the Battle of the Somme. An entire unit from the Devonshire Regiment was killed in the trenches and they were buried where they fell. One of their comrades left a wooden sign that simply stated "The Devonshires Held This Trench, The Devonshires Hold It Still." They still hold it to this very day, and those words have been imortalised as the memorial to their sacrifice.
* The sheer scale of the world wars is almost impossible to comprehend - almost, because the memorials are still around. The cemeteries are still there - thousands of them, each with thousands and thousands of graves... The First World War killed one person in fifty of the entire pre-war UK population; most casualties were young men, for whom the rates would be closer to one in five. And of the European nations involved in the war, the British casualty rates were among the lower. For a young Frenchman in 1914 the odds of surviving the war were closer to one in '''two'''.
* ''O my dear John Ronald what ever are we going to do?''
* The Kojima Epitaph - which commemorates British soldiers killed in the Burma Campaign in World War 2, simply states "When you go home, tell them of us and say: For your tomorrow, we gave our today."
** And nobody ever bloody remembers it. Seriously, name the last time you saw anything or anyone reference the Burma Campaign. (Sorry, it's a bit of a sore point for me)
*** -now take a look at history books, and ask youself what happens in Italy after the fall of Rome, and the Normandy Invasion takes the headlines the next day. They fought on until the last day of the war, all the way into Austria and the Balkans, almost unrecorded.
*** "name the last time you saw anything or anyone reference the Burma Campaign." The Burma missions in Medal of Honor: Rising Sun. Yes, it's THAT sad.
* The World War I memorial in Washington DC: Not only does it come across as neglected and altogether forgotten, the inscription dedicating it to those who served in the "war to end all wars" really twists the knife. Especially after one has walked past all the memorials to the wars that followed it. What makes it even more depressing is that the WWI memorial in DC is DC's WWI memorial (meaning: it only commemorates citizens of the District of Columbia who served; there is actually [[http://www.wwimemorial.org/ an organization]] ''still'' trying to get a national memorial placed in the Mall).
* In the museum at the Liberty WWI memorial, there's a glass walkway above a field of 9,000 artificial poppies, each representing a thousand soldiers who died on the western front. The sheer scale of it, and the fact that it only represents a portion of the deaths in World War I, is tearjerking.
* If you travel around Wallonia and northeast France you can see monuments to the Great War in the middle of the countryside and they seem almost out of place until you realize that they built them on top of where towns and villages used to be, everyone who lived in them most assuredly buried in the ground with their homes. In the pockmarked fields and woods - ground still torn apart by the bombs - small markers still indicate where the village streets used to be.
* The Battle of Cameron. "What can I do with men like these? They are not men, but devils". (presenting arms by the OTHER side when passing the site of the battle for bonus points)
* The Tomb of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unknown_Warrior Unknown Warrior]], located in Westminister Abbey, also has a memorable and tear-jerking Epitaph: "They buried him among the Kings, because he had done Good toward God and toward his House."
** In fact, this memorial was so tear-jerkingly memorable that in 2002, the Unknown Warrior was voted as the 76th Greatest Briton of all time. Ahead of people like JK Rowling, Tolkien, Viscount Montgomery, and Lloyd George (the Prime Minister who commissioned the said memorial!)
** Unveiling the memorial for the British Unknown Warrior also inaugurated the practice of holding a "moment of silence" for fallen soldiers. A newspaper article at the time would try to explain why, as follows:
--> "All the machines ticking out messages to the world fell silent. The world was for a time forgotten. ''The dead lived again.''"
* Similar to the above, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin Wall in Moscow: [[DueToTheDead "Your name is unknown,]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Unknown_Soldier_%28Moscow%29 your deed is immortal."]]
* The epitaph for the Spartans, often repeated, also deserves mention: "Go tell the Spartans, passerby. That here, obedient to their laws, we lie."
* The whole thing's kind of a memorial, so: The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Seriously, do not plan to do anything for at least a day after visiting it. You will be too upset, either depressed or enraged, or even both. Especially after the train car full of shoes...
** A Holocaust memorial (Yad Vashem) in Israel: There was a giant glass room of sorts where seven candles were reflected to produce a million points of light, one for each child that died in the Holocaust. Compounded when the tour guide later said that he could have been one of those lights.
*** Or the room where they keep the binders containing the hard copies of the the forms they have for victims of the Holocaust. There is enough space in that room for every Jewish victim's records. The amount of empty space on the shelves is particularly depressing.
** There's a similar memorial in Paris, just from the view of Notre Dame. It's even more heartbreaking when you consider that those lights represent the people from just that city.
** The Holocaust memorial in Miami Beach is simple yet gut-wrenching: It is a giant green hand, extending towards the sky representing a divine cry for help from those suffering. A number is etched on the hand, representing the numbers etched on concentration camp inmates. The arm before the hand is composed of statues of anonymous people crying and suffering. There are some statues representing victims, separate from the hand but surrounding it. Most tragic of all, in order for visitors to enter the area where the hand is, they have to enter the hallway facing a statue of a baby on the floor crying.
** Then there's Auschwitz-Birkenau itself. The indescribably horrifying exhibits in some of the remaining buildings, and then the endless grid of ruined buildings stretching off into the distance bring home the sheer scale of what had happened.
*** Out of all the instruments of death in Auschwitz, one stands out. The Allies left the gallows still standing. It was here that they hanged several Nazi war criminals who were responsible for the Holocaust. It is, to quote a historian: ''"The only place in Auschwitz where one can feel '''any''' sense of joy."''
** The comic strip ComicStrip/NonSequitur had [[[[http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2006/06/11/ a Sunday strip]]: Danae, the little girl who is pretty much the star of the strip, is seated next to an elderly man, and says, "I gotta tell you, mister, that's an awfully boring tattoo on your arm. Its just a bunch of numbers." The man says "well, I got it when I was about your age, and I kept it as a reminder." "Oh, as a reminder of happier times?" she asks. "No", he replies, "as a reminder of a time when the world went mad." He then goes on to explain the Holocaust to her, and she envisions herself in the camps. When he finishes, she looks up with a tear rolling down her face, and says, "so, you keep it to remind yourself of the dangers of political extremism?" "No, my darling. To remind you."
** There's a message outside the D.C. Holocaust Memorial, with the statement about how we must never forget what happened, nor allow it to happen again. And inside the memorial is this small area dedicated to the massacres in Darfur and the Sudan. We ''have'' allowed it to happen again...in Darfur, Bosnia, Rwanda...
** [[http://www.pbs.org/eliewiesel/life/auschwitz.html The speech]] Elie Wiesel gave at the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, where he was an inmate.
-->''Close your eyes and listen. Listen to the silent screams of terrified mothers, the prayers of anguished old men and women. Listen to the tears of children, Jewish children, a beautiful little girl among them, with golden hair, whose vulnerable tenderness has never left me. Look and listen as they quietly walk towards dark flames so gigantic that the planet itself seemed in danger. (...) Yitgadal veyitkadash, Shmay Rabba:[[hottip:* :"Exalted and sanctified be God's great name", first words of the Kaddish, a Jewish prayer told at mourning rituals.]] Weep for Thy children whose death was not mourned then: weep for them, our Father in heaven, for they were deprived of their right to be buried, for heaven itself became their cemetery.''
** ''[[http://www.science.co.il/Ilan-Ramon/Moon-Landscape.asp Moon Landscape]]'', by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petr_Ginz Petr Ginz]]. Even more so because the drawing itself was brought by Ilan Ramon onto STS-107 and was destroyed during re-entry. A small memorial for six million, and for seven.
* The following epitaph for the ANZAC soldiers killed in Turkey in World War One, located in Canberra, written by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first President of the Republic of Turkey, reads:
-->''Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours... You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.''
** The quote is even more moving when the reader realizes just how magnanimous the gesture is. Mustafa Ataturk was the Turkish commander during the Battle of Gallipoli before he became President of Turkey, so he saw first-hand the death and suffering of soldiers on both sides. In total, more than half a million soldiers became casualties during the campaign.
** Historian John Keegan also notes another tear-jerking fact about Gallipoli: To this day, young Australians still visit the beaches in Turkey where their grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought and often died. They still remember.
*** We should. At every ANZAC day ceremony, there is a poem that is often read out.
---->Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
---->Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
---->There is music in the midst of desolation
---->And a glory that shines upon our tears.
---->They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
---->Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
---->They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
---->They fell with their faces to the foe.
---->They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
---->Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
---->At the going down of the sun and in the morning
---->We will remember them.
---->LEST WE FORGET.
*** The last nine lines are the ones read out at the ceremony.
*** It splits the difference between TearJerker/RealLife and TearJerker/{{Music}}: especially in the context of the poem above, [[http://www.pogues.com/Releases/Lyrics/LPs/RumSodomy/Waltzing.html And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda]].
*** A poem, entitled "[[http://www.haefale.de/linda/Latest_News/Report_Gallipoli/report_gallipoli.html Gallipoli - A Post-War Epic]]" is engraved in a plaque in front of one of Turkey's war museums in Gallipoli. It takes the form of a conversation between a dead Anzac drummer who was fifteen when he was struck by a shell, and a dead Turkish soldier of unspecified age who is buried in an unmarked grave beside him. They describe their life and war experiences to each other in heart-wrenching poetry.
* The British Remembrance Sunday and Cenotaph ceremonies use the last five lines of the above poem, to similar effect. Made stronger at the Cenotaph this year (2008) by the presence of the three surviving WWI veterans from each branch of the military, with wreaths laid on their behalf by decorated serving members. The contrast of the young and old and particularly the Flight Lieutenant helping the last founding member of her own service lay his wreath is heartbreaking. [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7722054.stm Footage of the ceremony]]
** The above is made even more poignant because by the next Remembrance Sunday, all three of those survivors had died. Their names were Bill Stone, 108 (Royal Navy), Henry Allingham, 113 (Royal Naval Air Service/Royal Air Force), and Harry Patch, 111 (British Army). It is perhaps fitting that Allingham, the last surviving veteran of the Battle of Jutland and last founding member of the RAF, and Patch, the last veteran of the Western Front, wounded at the Battle of Passchendaele, died a week from each other.
*** Discussing the above was [[http://www.economist.com/obituary/displayStory.cfm?story_id=15108655&source=hptextfeature this article]] in ''The Economist''. Both the content and the unusual level of emotion for what's often quite a dry publication make it very moving.
*** At the ceremony in the Abbey, standing participants are specifically told that to pass out from the emotion of it all carries no shame.
* Operation Frankton, a 1942 raid carried out by British Royal Marine Commandos in WWII resulted in the deaths of 10 of the 12 men involved - most were shot without trial in accordance with Hitler's 'Commando Order'. The plaque on the wall where Sergeant Samuel Wallace and Marine Robert Ewart faced the firing squad is a real tear jerker:
-->If I should die think only this of me:
-->That there's some corner of
-->a foreign field
-->That is forever England.
** Those lines are taken from the poem [[http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15695 "The Soldier"]] by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915), a young, talented poet from Cambridge who died in WW1. A tear jerker indeed.
* The Vietnam War Memorial in DC can be a wrenchingly sad place- people still leave flags, roses and other small memorials to the people listed there. But the most wrenching moments are when the staff are clearing them all away.
** You should visit the rooms where the keep it all...
*** There is a documentary on the people who collect everything. They document it, lovingly store it all, and above all, honor it for what it is. Many of the people in the show had to take breaks during the interviews from being overcome with emotion at some of the items that have been left.
** [[http://dva.state.wi.us/Graphics/VietnamMemorial.jpg This painting]] is both extremely poignant in showing the utter futility of the Vietnam war, the pain felt from losing friends that continues to hurt years after, and the fact that 35 to 40 years after coming home, over ''five hundred thousand'' men are still fighting the Vietnam War.
*** Try viewing it while listening to the song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz8PISGCWh8 If you're Reading This]]
** Thank you for that pointer, the painting is indeed poignant. But I saw one that affected me even more when I visited the Wall a few years ago. Same reflection on the Wall side, with a GI in fatigues carrying a rifle reaching forward to the Wall itself, but on our side was a young boy reaching toward the Wall, with his grandfather holding his other hand. I am crying as I am typing this.
** The comic strip Foxtrot, not normally known for poignancy, had a Sunday strip where the family visited the Wall. Roger, the father, remarks the the older brother of his best friend died in the war and was on the Wall. Peter, the eldest son of the family, looks on sadly and says "I'm an older brother."
** Noted geneologist and historian Jack Butler (the man who discovered the family link between Al Sharpton and Strom Thurmond), who served in Vietnam, once described a trip to see the wall shortly after it opened, and how utterly horrified he was when he realized that, while there, he had been searching not for the name of one of his many fallen comrades from that war, but rather he was searching for ''his own'' name on the wall, amongst the casualties.
** Fewer people are familiar with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Soldiers the other Vietnam memorial]]. It's a statue of three young men in worn fatigues, standing as if they had just exited the jungle and surrounded by actual plants and trees. The statue is placed so that the three young men are gazing at the wall memorial. It was intended as a more "traditional" memorial than the wall, and the realism and ''familiarity'' the three present, along with their placement, gazing at the huge wall of names, is incredibly moving.
** Also heartwrenching are the names not on the wall. Thanks to the military's use of Agent Orange as a defoliant during the war and its long-term effects on veterans' health, many Vietnam veterans are developing cancer and dying forty years after they stopped fighting. Though they are officially counted as casualties of the war and afforded all the honors due to them, ''there is not enough room on the wall to inscribe all their names''.
* No one mentioned the Korean War Memorial? It's similar to the Vietnam Memorial, and nearby. It has a similar wall, featuring names and engraved images, plus a reflecting pool and statues depicting a squad of soldiers on patrol--including men from every branch of the US armed forces except for the Coast Guard.
** In the Korean War Memorial the engraved images are on reflective stone to reflect the viewer. The standing statues are sized slightly larger than life size. The way their eyes are depicted makes them look somewhat hollow. They are set out as if still on patrol, still at war.
* In 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin were preparing to go to the moon, Bill Safire wrote a speech called [[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/In_Event_of_Moon_Disaster "In Event of Moon Disaster"]] that was to be read by President Nixon in case the astronauts died or were stranded on the moon due to a mission disaster. With gut-wrenching lines such as "These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice," it is a relief that the Apollo 11 mission to the moon was a success.
** The crew of Apollo 11 would instead leave a plaque that read: ''Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind.''
*** (salutes) Happy ManlyTears! Happy ManlyTears! That is both a CrowningMomentofAwesome and CrowningMomentofHeartwarming!
** Jay Barbree's sentence ending for the chapter on the mission "Below, for that single day at least, all was right on a planet called Earth."
* Two years before Apollo 11, on a blustery January evening, astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were burned alive during tests for what would have become the first flying Apollo Command Module. The test mission, originally referred to as simply AS-204, was post-humously rechristened as Apollo 1. Launch Complex 34 would only be used once more, for the successful launch of the first manned Apollo mission (Apollo 7), before being decommissioned. Two plaques remain at LC-34 to honor their memory.
--->''In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could reach for the stars''
--->''Ad astra per aspera''
--->''(A rough road leads to the stars)''
--->''God speed to the crew of Apollo 1''
** About 100 meters out from the beach in Long Beach, California are three man-made islands that contain drilling rigs inside of concrete towers to make them look clean and neat. On the official maps issued by the city, the three islands are identified as "Island Grissom", "Island Chaffee" and "Island White".
** At the Smithsonian event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, Neil De Grasse Tyson read the names of all of the astronauts in flight order, asking them to stand up. The tone of his voice when he said "Would the family of GUS GRISSOM please stand up." and the subsequent applause were a great moment.
* Another simple memorial for the achievements of the Apollo program: Although the year 1968 became one of the worst humanity had ever experienced (with the Vietnam War, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, plus riots all over the world), it ended on a tear-jerkingly positive note when Apollo 8 made their historic broadcast on Christmas Eve. As one ordinary citizen so simply and aptly put it: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_8#Historical_importance Thank you, Apollo 8. You saved 1968]]
** The end of Apollo 8's Christmas broadcast, especially the intonation Frank Borman gave the last few words "We close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you, all of you ''on the good earth''!"
** The space program(s) in general: Amazing, but the kind of amazing that makes you want to sit still, not [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMoment punch the air]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnFMrNdj1yY&feature=player_embedded The Pale Blue Dot]]: "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us." And [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Marble The Blue Marble]]. Just knowing that this is ''us'', this is our ''world'', and it seems so delicate and fragile.
* The Menin Gate ceremony in Ypres (Ieper), the official memorial to all British soldiers without graves killed in Belgium. Especially the playing of the Last Post at this ceremony. And even more so when remembering that this has been done ''every single evening'' since 1928, with the exception of 4 years of occupation during WorldWar2. In fact the very evening it was liberated, the practice resumed... while there was still fighting elsewhere in the town. They restarted the ceremony as soon as the ''Gate'' was in friendly hands.
** Field Marshal Herbert Plummer - a respected general from the First World War who cared deeply for his men - was the one who unveiled the Menin Gate memorial. Speaking to the families of the missing soldiers, he ended his speech with the words "At last, it can be said: He is ''not'' missing. He is ''here''!"
*** And the search for the missing never really ended. Ninety years after their deaths, and fifty years since the last Commonwealth War Cemetery was opened, two hundred and fifty British and Australian soldiers will finally have a dignified grave. They will no longer be among the "missing". They will be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fromelles_(Pheasant_Wood)_Military_Cemetery here]].
*** It's even more sobering when you look at the Menin Gate, and similarly the [[http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/thiepval_memorial.htm Thiepval Memorial]] and others, and you see them plastered with names, and realize that's just the ones that ''aren't'' commemorated with a grave of their own, and fell on only ''part'' of the front, and only for ''part'' of the war.
**** The sheer scale of the loss and suffering of the First World War is best illustrated by this story: Mrs Rosie Reader's son Alec was killed during the war, and was listed among the "missing". She made several trips to France, hoping to find his grave, or at least his name on one of the many memorials. She never found any trace of him, and died thinking that his sacrifice had been forgotten. The family would finally get closure over ''eighty'' years after the war. Rosie's ''grandchildren'' had made one last trip to France, and they finally found Alec. His name was at Thiepval.
* The poem "In Flanders Fields" written by Canadian Army surgeon John [=McRae=] in WWI, after the death of his friend. He died a few days after he wrote it.
-->In Flanders fields the poppies blow
-->Between the crosses, row on row,
-->That mark our place; and in the sky
-->The larks, still bravely singing, fly
-->Scarce heard amid the guns below.

-->We are the dead. Short days ago
-->We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
-->Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
-->In Flanders fields.

-->Take up our quarrel with the foe:
-->To you from failing hands we throw
-->The torch; be yours to hold it high.
-->If ye break faith with us who die
-->We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
-->In Flanders fields."
** If that needs to be sadder, consider that the poppies were only growing because the artillery fire was so intense that it had turned up lower levels of dirt, and thus the poppies only grew there during (and shortly after) the war.
** [[http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/midis6/flanders.mid The music]] is equally heartrending.
** ''Poppies for young men / Death's bitter trade / [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88WOPnJBKiA All for a children's crusade]]...''

* The Tomb Of The Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery - "HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD". Add to that that the tomb is guarded by an Army soldier (wearing no rank insignia, so that he never outranks the Unknown Soldier) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - with no interruption for the past 70 years. The guards walk exactly 21 steps, turn and face the monument for 21 seconds, then turn and walk back 21 steps (to symbolize the 21-gun salute, the highest honor a fallen soldier may receive).
** The Tomb of the Unknowns is heartrending, but the Cemetery itself is bad enough. Row on row on row of white marble headstones in perfectly straight lines. Every one of them someone who served their country. Well, except for spouses and family and stuff. And the graves from the Lee-Custis Family. And the slaves. The Civil War graves are even sadder.
* The Vietnam soldiers' memorial in Washington D.C. The vast, reflective wall that stretches so far with every name carved on it, showing every year's cost, was originally the only monument, and it is fitting. Later they added the statues: the statue in honor the nurses and medical forces, three women, one tending to a wounded soldier, one looking to the sky for help, one clutching a helmet in her hand. But the one that gives you goosebumps is the memorial for the soldiers: three young men walking side by side and ''facing the wall of names,'' all of them looking a little surprised, as if they've just spotted it for the first time, and wonder what it is.
* [[http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm "But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."]]
* The Arizona-Missouri memorial in Pearl Harbor is also stunningly poignant and beautiful. On one side you have the wreck of the USS ''Arizona'' - signifying the ''start'' of World War 2 for the United States. On the other side you have the USS ''Missouri'' - the battleship where the Japanese surrendered and signaled the ''end'' of World War 2. Oil still leaks from the ''Arizona's'' hull even after sixty years, as though the ship is still crying for the hundreds of sailors who died aboard her. Meanwhile the ''Missouri'' is standing watch over the ''Arizona's'' grave, as though telling the fallen sailors: "Rest easy. We ''won''."
** There's a myth that the Arizona will only stop leaking oil after the last survivor has finally died and joined his comrades on the ship once again.
* The tomb in Cambridge, England for the deaths of thousands of Americans during WWII is particularly gut-wrenching. Thousands of near-identical white gravestones, the only difference being the cross or the star on the top to signify religion. It's one thing reading that 75 million died, it's quite another to see them all laid out. And there are only around 5 and a half thousand there.
** It's hard to convey the sheer ''scale'' of suffering that was endured by any generation who had to experience a World War. But one of the most gut-wrenching images is the picture of a mother who had lost ''seven'' sons during the First World War. And she was attending the burial of the Unknown Warrior in Westminister Abbey - where the guests of honor were 100 women who had lost their husband and ''all'' of their sons during the war.
** There's a photo of a 1920s-era Canada Day (Dominion Day) parade with four women in a car saying "These four mothers gave 28 brave sons." Do the math.
*** There are war memorials all over the place in Britain. And there are about 41 [[http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/England-History/ThankfulVillages.htm Thankful Villages]] in England and Wales that ''didn't'' lose anyone in the Great War. That's less than one lucky village per county.
* The [[http://homepage.mac.com/stevesimonphoto/Murambi%20Memorial/index.html "Murambi Genocide Memorial"]] [[http://www.theworld.org/?q=node/7997 "in Rwanda"]] (graphic images warning) is chilling in its simplicity. It consist of a school where the classrooms are full of the mummified bodies of the massacred and heartbreakingly some rooms full of dead children. The worst was seeing the faces frozen mid scream with visible wounds and still sporting hair and clothes... The fact the guide witnessed his entire family murdered on the site and has a hole from a bullet in his head turned really brings the horror even further home.
* ''The Fisherman's Wife'', a statue of a woman looking out over the sea in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. It is a memorial to all those Swedish non-combatant fishermen and merchant mariners that perished at sea during the two World Wars. Seeing it always fills the mind with sadness.
** The British memorial for their own fishermen and merchant mariners reads: "The twenty-four thousand of the merchant navy and fishing fleets whose names are honored on the walls of this garden gave their lives for their country and have no grave but the sea."
*** I took a military history class this year. In WWII, by percentage, you were more likely to die in the British Merchant Marine than in the Royal Navy, Army, or Air Force.
* ''Here lies one whose name was writ in water''--Epitaph of Creator/JohnKeats.
* [[http://www.americanmemorabilia.com/pics/33880_01_lg.jpg This]]. Dedicated to the great memory of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Blanc Mel Blanc]].
** This editor's next door neighbor owns that picture and remembers seeing it during a visit. Even though I was born after his death, I bit my lip to keep from tearing up.
* Few things can compare to the horror of the Cambodian Killing Fields. No one seems to realise the slaughter that went on in Cambodia. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Fields "The Killing Fields"]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amf_space_mirror.jpg Space Mirror]].
* There's a cemetery in Thailand that commemorates the British and Dutch prisoners-of-war who died building the Burma Railway, made famous by the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai". Several thousand soldiers from both countries died building the railroad (seven thousand of whom are buried in Thailand), but their suffering was almost nothing compared to the deaths of nearly ''90,000'' Asian slave-laborers who died on the railroad because of Japanese brutality. Of the ninety-thousand men, women, and children who died on the railroad, only ''three'' are buried in proper graves. And the only inscription on those graves is the word ''"Unknown"''.
* [[http://scotlandinmay.house-of-lynn.com/images/CullodenCairn2.jpg The Battle of Culloden was fought on this moor 16th April 1746. The names of the Gallant Highlanders who fought for Scotland & Prince Charlie, are marked by the names of their clans.]] And then you walk that bloodstained moor, the site of the last battle fought on British soil, where 1500 Highland men lost their lives. They were buried where they fell, with only stones - most etched simply with "Mixed Clans" - to mark that mass grave. To this day their ghosts still whisper through the grass...
** I visited Culloden and I can honestly say that there's something so heartbreaking about it. It was very windy the day that we were there, but there was something deathly silent beneath it.
* There's a cartoon in a Horrible History book, famous for making people laugh at history's grimmer side, that actually tugged at the heartstrings. A teenage girl is looking at war memorial listing every major world conflict alongside an old man and states dejectedly:
--->"I forgot which one was supposed to be the war to end all wars."
** There is another ''Horrible Histories'' book, about the Second World War. In it is the story of how a Polish police officer working with the Nazis found an attic full of Jewish women and children during the war. He turned to the Nazis below him, said, "there's no one there!" and left. At least one of the children survived (the story does not mention if any others made it through the war) to tell this story. At the end of it, the author writes:
--->War brings out the worst in some. It brings out the best in others.
* The story of the Sullivan Brothers. All five were on the same ship, the USS Juneau. The ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine, and the survivors were left behind to die in the water due to the threat of further submarine attacks. All five brothers were killed, along with all but ten of the seven-hundred man crew. Years later, the US Navy dedicated a ship to them, the U.S.S The Sullivans. On being asked what she thought, Mrs. Sullivan replied simply "My boys are back at sea again."
** [[http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/it-was-hard-to-give-five-sons-to-navy.html Here]] is the mother's letter to President Roosevelt, and his personal response.
* A World War One cemetery near the small village of Langemarck in Belgium. What's so special about it? It is a ''German'' cemetery, one of only four in the whole country in contrast to over three hundred Commonwealth cemeteries, even though the Germans lost the most men in World War One. Many of the graves are unknown as the remains were only laid to rest 40 years later. The mass grave in the centre along with the individual names carved on stone blocks surrounding it is a sight to behold. To be reminded that the losers of any war, branded as 'bad' by the winners who write history are people too is profound.
** The history of the Langemarck cemetery is actually a bit more heart-wrenching. It was built to commemorate tens of thousands of German college students who were killed during the Battle of Ypres, an incident Germans would later dub the "Massacre of the Innocents". Although college students were exempted from the pre-war drafts, almost all of them volunteered at the outbreak of the war, and they often marched off under the command of their own school teachers who had also returned to the colors. Most were slaughtered during the aforementioned battle, and the remains of about twenty-thousand of them were buried at the mass grave in Langemarck alone. The stone blocks surrounding the mass graves are actually the names of every German University - representing the enormity of the loss.
** In England there is a German cemetery called the 'Soldatenfriedhof'. It is enormous, and has British-style rows of neat white headstones; all are of WWI and WWII German soldiers who died in Britain after being evacuated here to hospital after being captured.
* The Maison des Esclaves in Senegal.
* Hiroshima and Nagasaki are mentioned further down the page, but I'm surprised no one's mentioned the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. It's focused on promoting peace and eliminating nuclear weapons, and it has diagrams and exhibits about the effect of the atomic bomb. It also has clothing and other belongings worn by people killed in the blast, and it's all just graphic and horrifying enough to break anyone down. Also, the Peace Memorial Park, which has things like the A-Bomb Dome, a building that's kept in the state it was immediately after the bombing, along with other heartwrenching monuments.
** The atom bomb's aiming point (a unique T-shaped bridge) still being in use, and at the edge of the peace park, is the most piquant detail. That and poor little [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_Sasaki#Memorial Sadako's memorial]], with all the bundles of paper cranes schoolchildren still bring on school visits.
** Reading stories about young teenage kids (13 and 14 years old even) going out to help create firebreaks in the morning and coming back home burned half to death, only to die in their parents' arms that very night... And then having to read the story of Sadako, seeing the memorial with her holding a giant golden crane on top...
** There is a monument in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with an inscription that always move me to tears. The meaning of the inscription is something like "Sleep in peace, for the mistake shall not be repeated", but that's not giving it any justice at all.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanjing_Massacre_Memorial_Hall Nanjing Massacre Memorial]] is wrenching. The whole "honor, samurai" culture just doesn't seem so pretty, especially after that contest to kill 100 with a katana.
* Still no mention of the National World War II Memorial? The memorial is one beautiful tribute to everyone who lived and died in the war.
* For Canadians that actually give a damn about their military history, the Vimy Ridge, Dieppe, and Juno Beach memorials.
** I'm a Canadian, and I cry every time I see the Vimy Ridge memorial. It's beautiful, and so massive...
*** Even Adolf Hitler, who had faced Canadian troops in battle during the First World War, paid his respects to the Vimy Ridge memorial. During the entire German occupation, an honor guard was posted at Vimy Ridge to prevent it from being defaced in any way.
**** That's worth an annual drink of water in Hell, if nothing more.
** The Battle of Hong Kong: a battle that so many people forget, it's sad that few remember the sacrifices made by the Canadians and allies against the Japanese Invasion Force.
* The Pentagon Memorial, in Arlington, Virginia, is one of the most moving things ever. It's essentially a plaza with a whole bunch of benches. Underneath each bench are names and ages of people who were killed at the Pentagon on 9/11. Some of the benches point towards the actual building, which means the names that are on it were killed in the Pentagon, and other benches point away from the building and towards the sky, which means the people whose names are on it were on the plane.
* The Civil War memorials in northern Vermont, which are in every town, are staggeringly long. Then realize how much smaller each town was back then.
* http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/11/05/vif2.bugler/index.html One man paying his last respects to thousands. Read it.
* Wilfred Owen's [[http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen1.html "Dulce et Decorum Est"]]. Then think that it wasn't written by a pacifist, but by a young soldier who died months later in combat.
** And yet the Latin poem the title comes from teaches that it is better to stand firm and think patriotic thoughts than turn and run, as it is running away that gets you horribly killed; which has been true in countless wars, unfortunately.
* Cambodia has a memorial I will remember forever - a simple shrine, with glass windows on the side...'''filled with the skulls of those who died in the Killing Fields'''. While it should be slightly Narm-ed by its similarity to a particular unit from a wargame that I play, it makes it even more poignant.
** You would be talking about the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum? No? Either way, there is a [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/11287317@N04/3085962585/ poem]] on the walls of the museum. Take some time to mull over it, imagine the situation, because it happened and millions went through that.
* The 9/11 Memorial in NYC: It's right next to the gaping pit that is all that is left of the World Trade Center. You can listen to the radio calls from the firefighters as they struggled to escape the Towers... and then you learn that all of those men are dead. There's a wall covered in the posters left by panicking relatives, depicting hundreds of missing loved ones. The posters have photos of those missing and lost on their wedding days, hugging their parents, opening gifts with their children. The only thing they have in common is that every one seems to include a pleading "PLEASE" and descriptions of tattoos, etc., presumably in case their loved one was in a hospital.
* At Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, when relatives of solders who are buried at any of the cemeteries in Europe come to see the grave one of the attendants will take them to it and then they will rub sand into the stone so the family can read the name for it can be hard it see. The sand comes from Omaha beach because only it is considered worthy.
* Try going to Andersonville in Georgia, knowing the history of the place. It's a few minutes north of Americus. Being there wasn't exactly a tear jerker for me, but it had that sort of aura around it that made me want to keep from speaking too loudly, and I caught some of my less composed classmates crying at intervals.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsitsernakaberd Tsitsernakaberd]], a memorial to the Armenian Genocide, which was a precursor to the Holocaust. The accompanying museum is what really gets the water works going; to think that human beings are capable of such intense cruelty, brutality and butchery to one another, and on top of it, to continue to deny that it ever happened at all.
* The Sarajevo Roses, one of the most beautiful and poignant ways of commemorating the loss of human life that may have ever been devised. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarajevo_Rose]]
* This story: [[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24213454/ Warsaw ghetto's 220 young fighters honored]]
** And this quote in particular
---> Edelman recalled in a recent interview with The Associated Press that the Nazis "wanted to destroy the people, and we fought to protect the people in the ghetto, to extend their life by a day or two or five."
--->
---> "'''I remember them all boys and girls 220 altogether, not too many to remember their faces, their names'''," he said of the young fighters.
* Also in Warsaw, a rather understated memorial. Hundreds of metal crosses welded onto a mine cart. Every cross represents ONE THOUSAND Polish citizens who lost their lives during WWII.
* There's a memorial in London's Hyde Park that, like so many other memorials in London, is dedicated to the dead of the British Empire. But not to humans; this one was dedicated to all of the animals, mostly horses, that died in Britain's wars over the years, with the engraved images of a variety of animals including horses, camels, and elephants. There's an inscription on the memorial reading "They Had No Choice."
** Hidden away in Hyde Park is the "Pet Cemetery"----a cemetery for people's pets, in use from the 1880s till the early 1900s. The inscriptions on the monuments---"For Seven Years We Were Such Friends" and the like---often speak of the anguish of the bereaved owners in a way that can still move the viewer, even now.
** At the foot of Tokyo tower is a memorial to a group of sled dogs that survive months alone in the polar regions after being abandoned by their owners (IIRC) a Japanese polar expedition. It seems the Brits and the Japanese both have respect for their guilt over misuse of animals.
* A tearjerker not mentioned here yet is the Memorial Park in Shanghai, China. It made me so sad because of the striking amplitude of truth and artificiality. We have a very modern park, much nature, and on two sides around the Memorial Museum there is the cemetery. A very cared for cemetery often with the pictures of the fallen on the graves, with lights and incense. And then you walk through the other part of the park full of statues which are... not really memorial but propaganda. They are made with inspiration of northern, Greek and maybe Roman influence. They don't remember, they strengthen and it made me soo sad to think of all those who fell during the war and to see that they are placed with statues like these, real sadness on the one side, absolute artificiality on the other.
* Tombstone, aka The Town Too Tough To Die doesn't seem like much of a TearJerker. Then when you visit Boothill cemetery the reality of all the people that died hits you like a ton of bricks. Nearly half of all the graves marked are unmarked, which just means that a lot of the people who died in Tombstone weren't all very well known and maybe even had no family to turn to. Then you see the graves of the foreigners which indicates some racism that may have been involved. Then you get to the one black man who was lynched and another man who got executed for a crime he didn't commit. The worst of all of these are the two graves marked for infants, one only aged 11 months.
* [[http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/tombofun.htm The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier]] in Arlington, VA. Just think, three people who were killed in action, but no one knows who they are, where their families are, and the chances of them ever being identified are long gone. I've never felt more sad in one place than I did there.
** There was actually a fourth tomb in The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In 1998, twenty-six after he was killed, Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie was ''finally'' identified and returned home to his family. The tomb - originally inscribed with the word "Vietnam" - has been reinscribed with the words: "Honoring and Keeping Faith with America's Missing Servicemen"
** Similarly, there was a tomb of the Unknown Child in Halifax, Canada. It was the body of an unidentified young boy recovered from the ''Titanic'', who would come to represent all the children lost at sea. Citizens and sailors from Halifax took care of the boy's funeral and continued to guard and honor the grave as though he was one of their own. After almost a century, a team of scientists attempted to identify the remains, even though they knew the chances were slim. Yet "''Somebody'' wanted us to know who this child is". [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Leslie_Goodwin He now has a name]]
* In 1979, the wife of Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko died suddenly of cerebral hemorrhage. The [[http://michaelsherwood.com/RoykoNovember.html column he wrote in tribute to her]] is in a book collection of his work.
* The Remembrance day ceremonies, particularly the moment of silence. For those outside the commonwealth (or commonwealth countries that commemorate it differently than Canada does): These events are held every November 11th in various places around the country and all schools, as well as being broadcast on television, to commemorate the world wars and war veterans in general. The moment of silences begins and ends with a single bugle plays [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9RwkNVqtog The Last Post and The Rouse]], respectively, which is moving in itself. When it ends, everyone present at the ceremony stands in silence for two minutes, during which time they are to reflect on the sacrifices made for our freedoms. You could hear a pin drop during that time. It's incredibly poignant, and a tear-jerker for sure.
* The statue "City without a heart" in Rotterdam that commemorates those killed in the bombing of the city during the Blitzkrieg. Already heartwrenching by itself when you think of the civilian victims (which nearly included my own parents) but all the more painful when you realise this was one of the main reasons the Netherlands capitulated: to prevent this from happening to other civilians.
* There's a traveling exhibit called [[http://www.wnc.edu/always_lost/ Always Lost: A Meditation On War]]. It's a exhibit honoring the soldiers who have died in the two current wars. It has the typical trappings, such as medals, guidebooks, and even one of the decks of playing cards with all of the major targets in Iraq on them. What was really striking were the walls that featured wallet sized photos of every American solider killed in action since 9/11, as well as an area that featured candid shots of civilians and soldiers.
** Try to read the above while listening to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDh5eoiRJlk this.]]
* The Taj Mahal. According to legend it was built by an Indian monarch out of grief for the passing of one of his favorite wives.
** He was Shah Jahan, and the wife he built it for was Mumtaz Mahal. Even though he had more than one wife, she was his Empress.
* The memorial for the Liquidators (those who went in to seal off the Factory to prevent the radiation from spreading further, ''knowing'' that they were [[HeroicSacrifice all going to die in the process]]) Chernobyl Power Plant Disaster. The inscription bares the phrase "[[http://www.englishbaby.com/forum/LifeTalk/thread/386226-memory-those-saved-world To those who saved the world.]]"
** A sad tinge to this is that the memorial was paid for by the families of victims, charities and donators... and not the government that sent the Liquidators in. Sure what they did had to be done by ''somebody'' or we might not be here talking now, but they could at least have helped out with the bloody memorial.
** The book ''Voices From Chernobyl'', a compendium of firsthand accounts from people who lived in Pripyat at the time of the disaster, really drives it home. The book opens with the narrative of a woman who, at the time, was a newlywed; her husband was a firefighter, one of the first men called to the scene. She describes the time spent in the hospital: watching helplessly as her husband's body ''literally'' fell apart; disobeying hospital rules to stay by his bedside, knowing that she was being exposed to the same radiation that was killing him--and their unborn child; being unable to give him a proper funeral, because his remains were so toxic that he had to be buried in a sealed lead casket. I read the story a mere four months after my own wedding; I broke down sobbing...and went to give my husband a ''huge'' hug.
* On a grave of an infant, the headstone read: "His little crib is empty, as is our hearts."
* The Swiss [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Monument Lion of Lucerne]] is a pretty powerful monument. Erected to commemorate the Swiss guards who were massacred during the French Revolution, it has been described as one of the most moving pieces of stone.
* Creator/GrahamChapman's death. Despite John Cleese's [[TheFunInFuneral eulogy]] and the rendition of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", you can tell the other Pythons were all really sad.
* Somewhere, snuggly placed in the center of England, is the [[http://www.thenma.org.uk/index.aspx National Memorial Arboretum]], a beautiful grove of planted trees dedicated to all those who died in the service of their country. Ranging from the heart-breaking [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/58/Shot_at_Dawn_memorial.JPG/800px-Shot_at_Dawn_memorial.JPG Shot at Dawn]], a sculpture of a seventeen year old boy shot for 'cowardice', to the inspiring [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Forces_War_Memorial:National_Memorial_Arboretum Polish Forces War Memorial]], a dedication to those Poles who served the UK, it's generally a wonderful place...until you see the centerpiece. The Armed Forces Memorial. With sixteen thousand names already inscribed, it's a heartbreaking thing, not only because there's fifteen thousand names waiting to be inscribed, but also because of the dedication and love put into making it.
* On an unknown grave in Ireland:
-->''Tears cannot restore her. Therefore I weep.''
* Erich Kastner's epitaph for the destruction of Dresden during WWII: "I was born in the most beautiful city in the world. Even if your father, child, was the richest man in the world, he could not take you to see it, because it does not exist any more... In a thousand years was her beauty built, in one night was it utterly destroyed".
* A grave somewhere in England, for a brother and sister who died of diphtheria within hours of each other: "They lived together, and played together, and in death they were not divided."
* Two of my personal favorite memorials are found at Washington National Cathedral:
** Just off the main Nave of the Cathedral a corner dedicated to Abraham Lincoln. There you can find a statue of Lincoln standing in front of the text of the speech he gave before leaving Illinois to go to the White House, but what I find most moving is this enscription:
---> Abraham Lincoln
--->Whose lonely soul
--->God kindled
--->Is here remembered
--->By a people
--->Their conflict healed
--->By the truth
--->That marches on.
** In one of the chapels in the crypt of the Cathedral, there is a small, slightly grubby-looking bronze plaque that is easy to overlook. On closer examination, it turns out to be in remembrance of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, her teacher, who are buried together in that room. The reason why the plaque is so grubby-looking is that it's written in English and Braille, and has been rubbed over by fingers so many times that the bronze has been discolored.
* {{PBS}} did a documentary a few years back called "Broadway: The American Musical." It devoted a two or three-minute montage of photographs of people in the Broadway community who died of AIDS in the 1980s- set to "I Am What I Am" from LaCageAuxFolles.
* The Newseum in Washington DC (devoted to the media, as you can guess from the name) has two exhibits that break my heart every time I see them (there are reasons why there are tissues strategically placed around the exhibits):
** There is an exhibit devoted to various photographs that have won Pulitzer Prizes for journalism- some from Breaking News stories, some from features. So many of those pictures are just absolutely heartbreaking, as they show poverty, murder, natural disaster, refugees fleeing civil wars... and still manage to include photos of hopeful and uplifting stories.
** Also, their exhibit on September 11th. It includes a portion of the radio tower that was on top of the North Tower, reporters who had been on the scene detailing what they had experienced, raw footage from the day... and notes from visitors, remembering and reflecting on that day.
* Someone, out there, right now, is suffering, and may vary well die alone, unloved and unmourned. To you...whoever you are.
* The Memorial Fountain at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia is dedicated to the 75 people killed in the crash of Southern Airways Flight 932 (including 37 Thundering Herd football players and almost all of the coaching staff) in 1970. The fountain is turned off at the exact date and time of the crash (November 14 at 7:36pm EST) and remains off until the following spring. The memorial plaque is inscribed simply: ''"They shall live on in the hearts of their families and friends forever and this memorial records their loss to the university and the community."''
* "[[http://demandprogress.org/ This was not suicide. It was murder by intimidation, bullying and torment."]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_light_has_gone_out_of_our_lives The Light Has Gone Out]], the speech given by Jawaharlal Nehru in response to the assassination of MahatmaGandhi.
-->''[[http://www.emersonkent.com/speeches/the_light_has_gone_out_of_our_lives.htm The light has gone out of our lives]] and there is darkness everywhere. I do not know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will never see him again as we have seen him for these many years. [...] The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong. For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many years will illumine this country for many more years, and a thousand years later, that light will be seen in this country and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts. For that light represented something more than the immediate past, it represented the living, the eternal truths, reminding us of the right path, drawing us from error, taking this ancient country to freedom.''
** Also worth noting [[http://www.elloraone.com/history/indianhistory/the-light/ Lord Mountbatten's meeting with Nehru and Patel]] shortly after the assassination.
** And Bernard Shaw's darker response: ''"It shows how dangerous it is to be good."''
* The Czech town of Lidice. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidice Look it up]]. In WWII, this town was falsely blamed for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942, and as a response, the Nazis destroyed the entire town. Men, women and children were killed. What remained of the town was leveled. Within the space of a month, ''everything was gone''. Now the area has been turned into a memorial...[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Memorial_lidice_children_(2007)-commons.JPG including a statue of the children who died there]]. It's heartbreaking.
* In the small town of New Alresford, Hampshire, England, there's [[http://www.hampshirecam.co.uk/mar/alresford_dog_mem.jpg this grave belonging to a dog]]. ''Here lies Hambone Jr. Faithful friend of the 47th Infantry Regt. 9th Div. U.S. Army. May 1944.''
----
The Glorious Dead
----

to:

->''Someone has to buy it for you. It's not cheap, and you can't repay them. Just remember what they did.''
-->-- '''An Unknown Troper''', on the price of freedom.


* Most British memorials from the First World War include the words "Their name liveth for evermore" (from ''Ecclesiasticus'') and, for the unidentified dead "A Soldier of the Great War Known Unto God." The words are particularly poignant when you realize that the words were chosen by Rudyard Kipling, whose son was also killed during the war.
** Kipling himself would write a rather poignant poem about this own son's death: "If any question why we died; Tell them, because our fathers lied."
*** Even worse still when you hear the story behind the poem. Kipling's son was near-sighted, however Kipling pressured the Army into taking him on, to be patriotic. In one battle, his glasses were knocked off and, while searching for them, he was shot. Kipling never forgave himself.
--->"Have you news of my boy Jack?"
--->Not this tide.
--->"When d'you think that he'll come back?"
--->Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.
** Almost all French memorials from the First World War include the word "Un Enfant De (town)...Mort Pour La France". Villages that are no more than wide places in the road will have such a memorial with a dozen names.
** In the same vein that the Trope image in Reims, France there is a memorial that ends with these sentence.
---> For the next generations for them to know and to remember
** and then,
---> Memorial of the 1914-1918, built in 1924 rebuilt in 2005 after its destruction in 1945
** There is a [[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/At_Last_Post poem]] written by a poet known only as W.E.K. He died in April 1917.
--->"At Last Post"
--->Come home!—Come home!
--->The winds are at rest in the restful trees:
--->At rest are the waves of the sundown seas:
--->And home—they're home—
--->At home! At ease!
** Many towns destroyed in WWI were never rebuilt, but the map wasn't updated. Where there used to be villages, now are only piles of rocks as memorials for the town and people living there.
** The Devonshire Cemetry in Mametz seems today oddly positioned in a small patch of woods, however on the 1st of July 1916 it was the front line of the Battle of the Somme. An entire unit from the Devonshire Regiment was killed in the trenches and they were buried where they fell. One of their comrades left a wooden sign that simply stated "The Devonshires Held This Trench, The Devonshires Hold It Still." They still hold it to this very day, and those words have been imortalised as the memorial to their sacrifice.
* The sheer scale of the world wars is almost impossible to comprehend - almost, because the memorials are still around. The cemeteries are still there - thousands of them, each with thousands and thousands of graves... The First World War killed one person in fifty of the entire pre-war UK population; most casualties were young men, for whom the rates would be closer to one in five. And of the European nations involved in the war, the British casualty rates were among the lower. For a young Frenchman in 1914 the odds of surviving the war were closer to one in '''two'''.
* ''O my dear John Ronald what ever are we going to do?''
* The Kojima Epitaph - which commemorates British soldiers killed in the Burma Campaign in World War 2, simply states "When you go home, tell them of us and say: For your tomorrow, we gave our today."
** And nobody ever bloody remembers it. Seriously, name the last time you saw anything or anyone reference the Burma Campaign. (Sorry, it's a bit of a sore point for me)
*** -now take a look at history books, and ask youself what happens in Italy after the fall of Rome, and the Normandy Invasion takes the headlines the next day. They fought on until the last day of the war, all the way into Austria and the Balkans, almost unrecorded.
*** "name the last time you saw anything or anyone reference the Burma Campaign." The Burma missions in Medal of Honor: Rising Sun. Yes, it's THAT sad.
* The World War I memorial in Washington DC: Not only does it come across as neglected and altogether forgotten, the inscription dedicating it to those who served in the "war to end all wars" really twists the knife. Especially after one has walked past all the memorials to the wars that followed it. What makes it even more depressing is that the WWI memorial in DC is DC's WWI memorial (meaning: it only commemorates citizens of the District of Columbia who served; there is actually [[http://www.wwimemorial.org/ an organization]] ''still'' trying to get a national memorial placed in the Mall).
* In the museum at the Liberty WWI memorial, there's a glass walkway above a field of 9,000 artificial poppies, each representing a thousand soldiers who died on the western front. The sheer scale of it, and the fact that it only represents a portion of the deaths in World War I, is tearjerking.
* If you travel around Wallonia and northeast France you can see monuments to the Great War in the middle of the countryside and they seem almost out of place until you realize that they built them on top of where towns and villages used to be, everyone who lived in them most assuredly buried in the ground with their homes. In the pockmarked fields and woods - ground still torn apart by the bombs - small markers still indicate where the village streets used to be.
* The Battle of Cameron. "What can I do with men like these? They are not men, but devils". (presenting arms by the OTHER side when passing the site of the battle for bonus points)
* The Tomb of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unknown_Warrior Unknown Warrior]], located in Westminister Abbey, also has a memorable and tear-jerking Epitaph: "They buried him among the Kings, because he had done Good toward God and toward his House."
** In fact, this memorial was so tear-jerkingly memorable that in 2002, the Unknown Warrior was voted as the 76th Greatest Briton of all time. Ahead of people like JK Rowling, Tolkien, Viscount Montgomery, and Lloyd George (the Prime Minister who commissioned the said memorial!)
** Unveiling the memorial for the British Unknown Warrior also inaugurated the practice of holding a "moment of silence" for fallen soldiers. A newspaper article at the time would try to explain why, as follows:
--> "All the machines ticking out messages to the world fell silent. The world was for a time forgotten. ''The dead lived again.''"
* Similar to the above, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin Wall in Moscow: [[DueToTheDead "Your name is unknown,]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Unknown_Soldier_%28Moscow%29 your deed is immortal."]]
* The epitaph for the Spartans, often repeated, also deserves mention: "Go tell the Spartans, passerby. That here, obedient to their laws, we lie."
* The whole thing's kind of a memorial, so: The Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Seriously, do not plan to do anything for at least a day after visiting it. You will be too upset, either depressed or enraged, or even both. Especially after the train car full of shoes...
** A Holocaust memorial (Yad Vashem) in Israel: There was a giant glass room of sorts where seven candles were reflected to produce a million points of light, one for each child that died in the Holocaust. Compounded when the tour guide later said that he could have been one of those lights.
*** Or the room where they keep the binders containing the hard copies of the the forms they have for victims of the Holocaust. There is enough space in that room for every Jewish victim's records. The amount of empty space on the shelves is particularly depressing.
** There's a similar memorial in Paris, just from the view of Notre Dame. It's even more heartbreaking when you consider that those lights represent the people from just that city.
** The Holocaust memorial in Miami Beach is simple yet gut-wrenching: It is a giant green hand, extending towards the sky representing a divine cry for help from those suffering. A number is etched on the hand, representing the numbers etched on concentration camp inmates. The arm before the hand is composed of statues of anonymous people crying and suffering. There are some statues representing victims, separate from the hand but surrounding it. Most tragic of all, in order for visitors to enter the area where the hand is, they have to enter the hallway facing a statue of a baby on the floor crying.
** Then there's Auschwitz-Birkenau itself. The indescribably horrifying exhibits in some of the remaining buildings, and then the endless grid of ruined buildings stretching off into the distance bring home the sheer scale of what had happened.
*** Out of all the instruments of death in Auschwitz, one stands out. The Allies left the gallows still standing. It was here that they hanged several Nazi war criminals who were responsible for the Holocaust. It is, to quote a historian: ''"The only place in Auschwitz where one can feel '''any''' sense of joy."''
** The comic strip ComicStrip/NonSequitur had [[[[http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2006/06/11/ a Sunday strip]]: Danae, the little girl who is pretty much the star of the strip, is seated next to an elderly man, and says, "I gotta tell you, mister, that's an awfully boring tattoo on your arm. Its just a bunch of numbers." The man says "well, I got it when I was about your age, and I kept it as a reminder." "Oh, as a reminder of happier times?" she asks. "No", he replies, "as a reminder of a time when the world went mad." He then goes on to explain the Holocaust to her, and she envisions herself in the camps. When he finishes, she looks up with a tear rolling down her face, and says, "so, you keep it to remind yourself of the dangers of political extremism?" "No, my darling. To remind you."
** There's a message outside the D.C. Holocaust Memorial, with the statement about how we must never forget what happened, nor allow it to happen again. And inside the memorial is this small area dedicated to the massacres in Darfur and the Sudan. We ''have'' allowed it to happen again...in Darfur, Bosnia, Rwanda...
** [[http://www.pbs.org/eliewiesel/life/auschwitz.html The speech]] Elie Wiesel gave at the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, where he was an inmate.
-->''Close your eyes and listen. Listen to the silent screams of terrified mothers, the prayers of anguished old men and women. Listen to the tears of children, Jewish children, a beautiful little girl among them, with golden hair, whose vulnerable tenderness has never left me. Look and listen as they quietly walk towards dark flames so gigantic that the planet itself seemed in danger. (...) Yitgadal veyitkadash, Shmay Rabba:[[hottip:* :"Exalted and sanctified be God's great name", first words of the Kaddish, a Jewish prayer told at mourning rituals.]] Weep for Thy children whose death was not mourned then: weep for them, our Father in heaven, for they were deprived of their right to be buried, for heaven itself became their cemetery.''
** ''[[http://www.science.co.il/Ilan-Ramon/Moon-Landscape.asp Moon Landscape]]'', by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petr_Ginz Petr Ginz]]. Even more so because the drawing itself was brought by Ilan Ramon onto STS-107 and was destroyed during re-entry. A small memorial for six million, and for seven.
* The following epitaph for the ANZAC soldiers killed in Turkey in World War One, located in Canberra, written by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first President of the Republic of Turkey, reads:
-->''Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours... You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.''
** The quote is even more moving when the reader realizes just how magnanimous the gesture is. Mustafa Ataturk was the Turkish commander during the Battle of Gallipoli before he became President of Turkey, so he saw first-hand the death and suffering of soldiers on both sides. In total, more than half a million soldiers became casualties during the campaign.
** Historian John Keegan also notes another tear-jerking fact about Gallipoli: To this day, young Australians still visit the beaches in Turkey where their grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought and often died. They still remember.
*** We should. At every ANZAC day ceremony, there is a poem that is often read out.
---->Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
---->Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
---->There is music in the midst of desolation
---->And a glory that shines upon our tears.
---->They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
---->Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
---->They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
---->They fell with their faces to the foe.
---->They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
---->Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
---->At the going down of the sun and in the morning
---->We will remember them.
---->LEST WE FORGET.
*** The last nine lines are the ones read out at the ceremony.
*** It splits the difference between TearJerker/RealLife and TearJerker/{{Music}}: especially in the context of the poem above, [[http://www.pogues.com/Releases/Lyrics/LPs/RumSodomy/Waltzing.html And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda]].
*** A poem, entitled "[[http://www.haefale.de/linda/Latest_News/Report_Gallipoli/report_gallipoli.html Gallipoli - A Post-War Epic]]" is engraved in a plaque in front of one of Turkey's war museums in Gallipoli. It takes the form of a conversation between a dead Anzac drummer who was fifteen when he was struck by a shell, and a dead Turkish soldier of unspecified age who is buried in an unmarked grave beside him. They describe their life and war experiences to each other in heart-wrenching poetry.
* The British Remembrance Sunday and Cenotaph ceremonies use the last five lines of the above poem, to similar effect. Made stronger at the Cenotaph this year (2008) by the presence of the three surviving WWI veterans from each branch of the military, with wreaths laid on their behalf by decorated serving members. The contrast of the young and old and particularly the Flight Lieutenant helping the last founding member of her own service lay his wreath is heartbreaking. [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7722054.stm Footage of the ceremony]]
** The above is made even more poignant because by the next Remembrance Sunday, all three of those survivors had died. Their names were Bill Stone, 108 (Royal Navy), Henry Allingham, 113 (Royal Naval Air Service/Royal Air Force), and Harry Patch, 111 (British Army). It is perhaps fitting that Allingham, the last surviving veteran of the Battle of Jutland and last founding member of the RAF, and Patch, the last veteran of the Western Front, wounded at the Battle of Passchendaele, died a week from each other.
*** Discussing the above was [[http://www.economist.com/obituary/displayStory.cfm?story_id=15108655&source=hptextfeature this article]] in ''The Economist''. Both the content and the unusual level of emotion for what's often quite a dry publication make it very moving.
*** At the ceremony in the Abbey, standing participants are specifically told that to pass out from the emotion of it all carries no shame.
* Operation Frankton, a 1942 raid carried out by British Royal Marine Commandos in WWII resulted in the deaths of 10 of the 12 men involved - most were shot without trial in accordance with Hitler's 'Commando Order'. The plaque on the wall where Sergeant Samuel Wallace and Marine Robert Ewart faced the firing squad is a real tear jerker:
-->If I should die think only this of me:
-->That there's some corner of
-->a foreign field
-->That is forever England.
** Those lines are taken from the poem [[http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15695 "The Soldier"]] by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915), a young, talented poet from Cambridge who died in WW1. A tear jerker indeed.
* The Vietnam War Memorial in DC can be a wrenchingly sad place- people still leave flags, roses and other small memorials to the people listed there. But the most wrenching moments are when the staff are clearing them all away.
** You should visit the rooms where the keep it all...
*** There is a documentary on the people who collect everything. They document it, lovingly store it all, and above all, honor it for what it is. Many of the people in the show had to take breaks during the interviews from being overcome with emotion at some of the items that have been left.
** [[http://dva.state.wi.us/Graphics/VietnamMemorial.jpg This painting]] is both extremely poignant in showing the utter futility of the Vietnam war, the pain felt from losing friends that continues to hurt years after, and the fact that 35 to 40 years after coming home, over ''five hundred thousand'' men are still fighting the Vietnam War.
*** Try viewing it while listening to the song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz8PISGCWh8 If you're Reading This]]
** Thank you for that pointer, the painting is indeed poignant. But I saw one that affected me even more when I visited the Wall a few years ago. Same reflection on the Wall side, with a GI in fatigues carrying a rifle reaching forward to the Wall itself, but on our side was a young boy reaching toward the Wall, with his grandfather holding his other hand. I am crying as I am typing this.
** The comic strip Foxtrot, not normally known for poignancy, had a Sunday strip where the family visited the Wall. Roger, the father, remarks the the older brother of his best friend died in the war and was on the Wall. Peter, the eldest son of the family, looks on sadly and says "I'm an older brother."
** Noted geneologist and historian Jack Butler (the man who discovered the family link between Al Sharpton and Strom Thurmond), who served in Vietnam, once described a trip to see the wall shortly after it opened, and how utterly horrified he was when he realized that, while there, he had been searching not for the name of one of his many fallen comrades from that war, but rather he was searching for ''his own'' name on the wall, amongst the casualties.
** Fewer people are familiar with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Soldiers the other Vietnam memorial]]. It's a statue of three young men in worn fatigues, standing as if they had just exited the jungle and surrounded by actual plants and trees. The statue is placed so that the three young men are gazing at the wall memorial. It was intended as a more "traditional" memorial than the wall, and the realism and ''familiarity'' the three present, along with their placement, gazing at the huge wall of names, is incredibly moving.
** Also heartwrenching are the names not on the wall. Thanks to the military's use of Agent Orange as a defoliant during the war and its long-term effects on veterans' health, many Vietnam veterans are developing cancer and dying forty years after they stopped fighting. Though they are officially counted as casualties of the war and afforded all the honors due to them, ''there is not enough room on the wall to inscribe all their names''.
* No one mentioned the Korean War Memorial? It's similar to the Vietnam Memorial, and nearby. It has a similar wall, featuring names and engraved images, plus a reflecting pool and statues depicting a squad of soldiers on patrol--including men from every branch of the US armed forces except for the Coast Guard.
** In the Korean War Memorial the engraved images are on reflective stone to reflect the viewer. The standing statues are sized slightly larger than life size. The way their eyes are depicted makes them look somewhat hollow. They are set out as if still on patrol, still at war.
* In 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin were preparing to go to the moon, Bill Safire wrote a speech called [[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/In_Event_of_Moon_Disaster "In Event of Moon Disaster"]] that was to be read by President Nixon in case the astronauts died or were stranded on the moon due to a mission disaster. With gut-wrenching lines such as "These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice," it is a relief that the Apollo 11 mission to the moon was a success.
** The crew of Apollo 11 would instead leave a plaque that read: ''Here Men From The Planet Earth First Set Foot Upon the Moon, July 1969 A.D. We Came in Peace For All Mankind.''
*** (salutes) Happy ManlyTears! Happy ManlyTears! That is both a CrowningMomentofAwesome and CrowningMomentofHeartwarming!
** Jay Barbree's sentence ending for the chapter on the mission "Below, for that single day at least, all was right on a planet called Earth."
* Two years before Apollo 11, on a blustery January evening, astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were burned alive during tests for what would have become the first flying Apollo Command Module. The test mission, originally referred to as simply AS-204, was post-humously rechristened as Apollo 1. Launch Complex 34 would only be used once more, for the successful launch of the first manned Apollo mission (Apollo 7), before being decommissioned. Two plaques remain at LC-34 to honor their memory.
--->''In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could reach for the stars''
--->''Ad astra per aspera''
--->''(A rough road leads to the stars)''
--->''God speed to the crew of Apollo 1''
** About 100 meters out from the beach in Long Beach, California are three man-made islands that contain drilling rigs inside of concrete towers to make them look clean and neat. On the official maps issued by the city, the three islands are identified as "Island Grissom", "Island Chaffee" and "Island White".
** At the Smithsonian event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, Neil De Grasse Tyson read the names of all of the astronauts in flight order, asking them to stand up. The tone of his voice when he said "Would the family of GUS GRISSOM please stand up." and the subsequent applause were a great moment.
* Another simple memorial for the achievements of the Apollo program: Although the year 1968 became one of the worst humanity had ever experienced (with the Vietnam War, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, plus riots all over the world), it ended on a tear-jerkingly positive note when Apollo 8 made their historic broadcast on Christmas Eve. As one ordinary citizen so simply and aptly put it: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_8#Historical_importance Thank you, Apollo 8. You saved 1968]]
** The end of Apollo 8's Christmas broadcast, especially the intonation Frank Borman gave the last few words "We close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you, all of you ''on the good earth''!"
** The space program(s) in general: Amazing, but the kind of amazing that makes you want to sit still, not [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMoment punch the air]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnFMrNdj1yY&feature=player_embedded The Pale Blue Dot]]: "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us." And [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Marble The Blue Marble]]. Just knowing that this is ''us'', this is our ''world'', and it seems so delicate and fragile.
* The Menin Gate ceremony in Ypres (Ieper), the official memorial to all British soldiers without graves killed in Belgium. Especially the playing of the Last Post at this ceremony. And even more so when remembering that this has been done ''every single evening'' since 1928, with the exception of 4 years of occupation during WorldWar2. In fact the very evening it was liberated, the practice resumed... while there was still fighting elsewhere in the town. They restarted the ceremony as soon as the ''Gate'' was in friendly hands.
** Field Marshal Herbert Plummer - a respected general from the First World War who cared deeply for his men - was the one who unveiled the Menin Gate memorial. Speaking to the families of the missing soldiers, he ended his speech with the words "At last, it can be said: He is ''not'' missing. He is ''here''!"
*** And the search for the missing never really ended. Ninety years after their deaths, and fifty years since the last Commonwealth War Cemetery was opened, two hundred and fifty British and Australian soldiers will finally have a dignified grave. They will no longer be among the "missing". They will be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fromelles_(Pheasant_Wood)_Military_Cemetery here]].
*** It's even more sobering when you look at the Menin Gate, and similarly the [[http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/thiepval_memorial.htm Thiepval Memorial]] and others, and you see them plastered with names, and realize that's just the ones that ''aren't'' commemorated with a grave of their own, and fell on only ''part'' of the front, and only for ''part'' of the war.
**** The sheer scale of the loss and suffering of the First World War is best illustrated by this story: Mrs Rosie Reader's son Alec was killed during the war, and was listed among the "missing". She made several trips to France, hoping to find his grave, or at least his name on one of the many memorials. She never found any trace of him, and died thinking that his sacrifice had been forgotten. The family would finally get closure over ''eighty'' years after the war. Rosie's ''grandchildren'' had made one last trip to France, and they finally found Alec. His name was at Thiepval.
* The poem "In Flanders Fields" written by Canadian Army surgeon John [=McRae=] in WWI, after the death of his friend. He died a few days after he wrote it.
-->In Flanders fields the poppies blow
-->Between the crosses, row on row,
-->That mark our place; and in the sky
-->The larks, still bravely singing, fly
-->Scarce heard amid the guns below.

-->We are the dead. Short days ago
-->We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
-->Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
-->In Flanders fields.

-->Take up our quarrel with the foe:
-->To you from failing hands we throw
-->The torch; be yours to hold it high.
-->If ye break faith with us who die
-->We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
-->In Flanders fields."
** If that needs to be sadder, consider that the poppies were only growing because the artillery fire was so intense that it had turned up lower levels of dirt, and thus the poppies only grew there during (and shortly after) the war.
** [[http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/midis6/flanders.mid The music]] is equally heartrending.
** ''Poppies for young men / Death's bitter trade / [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88WOPnJBKiA All for a children's crusade]]...''

* The Tomb Of The Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery - "HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD". Add to that that the tomb is guarded by an Army soldier (wearing no rank insignia, so that he never outranks the Unknown Soldier) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - with no interruption for the past 70 years. The guards walk exactly 21 steps, turn and face the monument for 21 seconds, then turn and walk back 21 steps (to symbolize the 21-gun salute, the highest honor a fallen soldier may receive).
** The Tomb of the Unknowns is heartrending, but the Cemetery itself is bad enough. Row on row on row of white marble headstones in perfectly straight lines. Every one of them someone who served their country. Well, except for spouses and family and stuff. And the graves from the Lee-Custis Family. And the slaves. The Civil War graves are even sadder.
* The Vietnam soldiers' memorial in Washington D.C. The vast, reflective wall that stretches so far with every name carved on it, showing every year's cost, was originally the only monument, and it is fitting. Later they added the statues: the statue in honor the nurses and medical forces, three women, one tending to a wounded soldier, one looking to the sky for help, one clutching a helmet in her hand. But the one that gives you goosebumps is the memorial for the soldiers: three young men walking side by side and ''facing the wall of names,'' all of them looking a little surprised, as if they've just spotted it for the first time, and wonder what it is.
* [[http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm "But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."]]
* The Arizona-Missouri memorial in Pearl Harbor is also stunningly poignant and beautiful. On one side you have the wreck of the USS ''Arizona'' - signifying the ''start'' of World War 2 for the United States. On the other side you have the USS ''Missouri'' - the battleship where the Japanese surrendered and signaled the ''end'' of World War 2. Oil still leaks from the ''Arizona's'' hull even after sixty years, as though the ship is still crying for the hundreds of sailors who died aboard her. Meanwhile the ''Missouri'' is standing watch over the ''Arizona's'' grave, as though telling the fallen sailors: "Rest easy. We ''won''."
** There's a myth that the Arizona will only stop leaking oil after the last survivor has finally died and joined his comrades on the ship once again.
* The tomb in Cambridge, England for the deaths of thousands of Americans during WWII is particularly gut-wrenching. Thousands of near-identical white gravestones, the only difference being the cross or the star on the top to signify religion. It's one thing reading that 75 million died, it's quite another to see them all laid out. And there are only around 5 and a half thousand there.
** It's hard to convey the sheer ''scale'' of suffering that was endured by any generation who had to experience a World War. But one of the most gut-wrenching images is the picture of a mother who had lost ''seven'' sons during the First World War. And she was attending the burial of the Unknown Warrior in Westminister Abbey - where the guests of honor were 100 women who had lost their husband and ''all'' of their sons during the war.
** There's a photo of a 1920s-era Canada Day (Dominion Day) parade with four women in a car saying "These four mothers gave 28 brave sons." Do the math.
*** There are war memorials all over the place in Britain. And there are about 41 [[http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/England-History/ThankfulVillages.htm Thankful Villages]] in England and Wales that ''didn't'' lose anyone in the Great War. That's less than one lucky village per county.
* The [[http://homepage.mac.com/stevesimonphoto/Murambi%20Memorial/index.html "Murambi Genocide Memorial"]] [[http://www.theworld.org/?q=node/7997 "in Rwanda"]] (graphic images warning) is chilling in its simplicity. It consist of a school where the classrooms are full of the mummified bodies of the massacred and heartbreakingly some rooms full of dead children. The worst was seeing the faces frozen mid scream with visible wounds and still sporting hair and clothes... The fact the guide witnessed his entire family murdered on the site and has a hole from a bullet in his head turned really brings the horror even further home.
* ''The Fisherman's Wife'', a statue of a woman looking out over the sea in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. It is a memorial to all those Swedish non-combatant fishermen and merchant mariners that perished at sea during the two World Wars. Seeing it always fills the mind with sadness.
** The British memorial for their own fishermen and merchant mariners reads: "The twenty-four thousand of the merchant navy and fishing fleets whose names are honored on the walls of this garden gave their lives for their country and have no grave but the sea."
*** I took a military history class this year. In WWII, by percentage, you were more likely to die in the British Merchant Marine than in the Royal Navy, Army, or Air Force.
* ''Here lies one whose name was writ in water''--Epitaph of Creator/JohnKeats.
* [[http://www.americanmemorabilia.com/pics/33880_01_lg.jpg This]]. Dedicated to the great memory of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Blanc Mel Blanc]].
** This editor's next door neighbor owns that picture and remembers seeing it during a visit. Even though I was born after his death, I bit my lip to keep from tearing up.
* Few things can compare to the horror of the Cambodian Killing Fields. No one seems to realise the slaughter that went on in Cambodia. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Fields "The Killing Fields"]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amf_space_mirror.jpg Space Mirror]].
* There's a cemetery in Thailand that commemorates the British and Dutch prisoners-of-war who died building the Burma Railway, made famous by the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai". Several thousand soldiers from both countries died building the railroad (seven thousand of whom are buried in Thailand), but their suffering was almost nothing compared to the deaths of nearly ''90,000'' Asian slave-laborers who died on the railroad because of Japanese brutality. Of the ninety-thousand men, women, and children who died on the railroad, only ''three'' are buried in proper graves. And the only inscription on those graves is the word ''"Unknown"''.
* [[http://scotlandinmay.house-of-lynn.com/images/CullodenCairn2.jpg The Battle of Culloden was fought on this moor 16th April 1746. The names of the Gallant Highlanders who fought for Scotland & Prince Charlie, are marked by the names of their clans.]] And then you walk that bloodstained moor, the site of the last battle fought on British soil, where 1500 Highland men lost their lives. They were buried where they fell, with only stones - most etched simply with "Mixed Clans" - to mark that mass grave. To this day their ghosts still whisper through the grass...
** I visited Culloden and I can honestly say that there's something so heartbreaking about it. It was very windy the day that we were there, but there was something deathly silent beneath it.
* There's a cartoon in a Horrible History book, famous for making people laugh at history's grimmer side, that actually tugged at the heartstrings. A teenage girl is looking at war memorial listing every major world conflict alongside an old man and states dejectedly:
--->"I forgot which one was supposed to be the war to end all wars."
** There is another ''Horrible Histories'' book, about the Second World War. In it is the story of how a Polish police officer working with the Nazis found an attic full of Jewish women and children during the war. He turned to the Nazis below him, said, "there's no one there!" and left. At least one of the children survived (the story does not mention if any others made it through the war) to tell this story. At the end of it, the author writes:
--->War brings out the worst in some. It brings out the best in others.
* The story of the Sullivan Brothers. All five were on the same ship, the USS Juneau. The ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine, and the survivors were left behind to die in the water due to the threat of further submarine attacks. All five brothers were killed, along with all but ten of the seven-hundred man crew. Years later, the US Navy dedicated a ship to them, the U.S.S The Sullivans. On being asked what she thought, Mrs. Sullivan replied simply "My boys are back at sea again."
** [[http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/it-was-hard-to-give-five-sons-to-navy.html Here]] is the mother's letter to President Roosevelt, and his personal response.
* A World War One cemetery near the small village of Langemarck in Belgium. What's so special about it? It is a ''German'' cemetery, one of only four in the whole country in contrast to over three hundred Commonwealth cemeteries, even though the Germans lost the most men in World War One. Many of the graves are unknown as the remains were only laid to rest 40 years later. The mass grave in the centre along with the individual names carved on stone blocks surrounding it is a sight to behold. To be reminded that the losers of any war, branded as 'bad' by the winners who write history are people too is profound.
** The history of the Langemarck cemetery is actually a bit more heart-wrenching. It was built to commemorate tens of thousands of German college students who were killed during the Battle of Ypres, an incident Germans would later dub the "Massacre of the Innocents". Although college students were exempted from the pre-war drafts, almost all of them volunteered at the outbreak of the war, and they often marched off under the command of their own school teachers who had also returned to the colors. Most were slaughtered during the aforementioned battle, and the remains of about twenty-thousand of them were buried at the mass grave in Langemarck alone. The stone blocks surrounding the mass graves are actually the names of every German University - representing the enormity of the loss.
** In England there is a German cemetery called the 'Soldatenfriedhof'. It is enormous, and has British-style rows of neat white headstones; all are of WWI and WWII German soldiers who died in Britain after being evacuated here to hospital after being captured.
* The Maison des Esclaves in Senegal.
* Hiroshima and Nagasaki are mentioned further down the page, but I'm surprised no one's mentioned the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. It's focused on promoting peace and eliminating nuclear weapons, and it has diagrams and exhibits about the effect of the atomic bomb. It also has clothing and other belongings worn by people killed in the blast, and it's all just graphic and horrifying enough to break anyone down. Also, the Peace Memorial Park, which has things like the A-Bomb Dome, a building that's kept in the state it was immediately after the bombing, along with other heartwrenching monuments.
** The atom bomb's aiming point (a unique T-shaped bridge) still being in use, and at the edge of the peace park, is the most piquant detail. That and poor little [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_Sasaki#Memorial Sadako's memorial]], with all the bundles of paper cranes schoolchildren still bring on school visits.
** Reading stories about young teenage kids (13 and 14 years old even) going out to help create firebreaks in the morning and coming back home burned half to death, only to die in their parents' arms that very night... And then having to read the story of Sadako, seeing the memorial with her holding a giant golden crane on top...
** There is a monument in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with an inscription that always move me to tears. The meaning of the inscription is something like "Sleep in peace, for the mistake shall not be repeated", but that's not giving it any justice at all.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanjing_Massacre_Memorial_Hall Nanjing Massacre Memorial]] is wrenching. The whole "honor, samurai" culture just doesn't seem so pretty, especially after that contest to kill 100 with a katana.
* Still no mention of the National World War II Memorial? The memorial is one beautiful tribute to everyone who lived and died in the war.
* For Canadians that actually give a damn about their military history, the Vimy Ridge, Dieppe, and Juno Beach memorials.
** I'm a Canadian, and I cry every time I see the Vimy Ridge memorial. It's beautiful, and so massive...
*** Even Adolf Hitler, who had faced Canadian troops in battle during the First World War, paid his respects to the Vimy Ridge memorial. During the entire German occupation, an honor guard was posted at Vimy Ridge to prevent it from being defaced in any way.
**** That's worth an annual drink of water in Hell, if nothing more.
** The Battle of Hong Kong: a battle that so many people forget, it's sad that few remember the sacrifices made by the Canadians and allies against the Japanese Invasion Force.
* The Pentagon Memorial, in Arlington, Virginia, is one of the most moving things ever. It's essentially a plaza with a whole bunch of benches. Underneath each bench are names and ages of people who were killed at the Pentagon on 9/11. Some of the benches point towards the actual building, which means the names that are on it were killed in the Pentagon, and other benches point away from the building and towards the sky, which means the people whose names are on it were on the plane.
* The Civil War memorials in northern Vermont, which are in every town, are staggeringly long. Then realize how much smaller each town was back then.
* http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/11/05/vif2.bugler/index.html One man paying his last respects to thousands. Read it.
* Wilfred Owen's [[http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen1.html "Dulce et Decorum Est"]]. Then think that it wasn't written by a pacifist, but by a young soldier who died months later in combat.
** And yet the Latin poem the title comes from teaches that it is better to stand firm and think patriotic thoughts than turn and run, as it is running away that gets you horribly killed; which has been true in countless wars, unfortunately.
* Cambodia has a memorial I will remember forever - a simple shrine, with glass windows on the side...'''filled with the skulls of those who died in the Killing Fields'''. While it should be slightly Narm-ed by its similarity to a particular unit from a wargame that I play, it makes it even more poignant.
** You would be talking about the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum? No? Either way, there is a [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/11287317@N04/3085962585/ poem]] on the walls of the museum. Take some time to mull over it, imagine the situation, because it happened and millions went through that.
* The 9/11 Memorial in NYC: It's right next to the gaping pit that is all that is left of the World Trade Center. You can listen to the radio calls from the firefighters as they struggled to escape the Towers... and then you learn that all of those men are dead. There's a wall covered in the posters left by panicking relatives, depicting hundreds of missing loved ones. The posters have photos of those missing and lost on their wedding days, hugging their parents, opening gifts with their children. The only thing they have in common is that every one seems to include a pleading "PLEASE" and descriptions of tattoos, etc., presumably in case their loved one was in a hospital.
* At Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, when relatives of solders who are buried at any of the cemeteries in Europe come to see the grave one of the attendants will take them to it and then they will rub sand into the stone so the family can read the name for it can be hard it see. The sand comes from Omaha beach because only it is considered worthy.
* Try going to Andersonville in Georgia, knowing the history of the place. It's a few minutes north of Americus. Being there wasn't exactly a tear jerker for me, but it had that sort of aura around it that made me want to keep from speaking too loudly, and I caught some of my less composed classmates crying at intervals.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsitsernakaberd Tsitsernakaberd]], a memorial to the Armenian Genocide, which was a precursor to the Holocaust. The accompanying museum is what really gets the water works going; to think that human beings are capable of such intense cruelty, brutality and butchery to one another, and on top of it, to continue to deny that it ever happened at all.
* The Sarajevo Roses, one of the most beautiful and poignant ways of commemorating the loss of human life that may have ever been devised. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarajevo_Rose]]
* This story: [[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24213454/ Warsaw ghetto's 220 young fighters honored]]
** And this quote in particular
---> Edelman recalled in a recent interview with The Associated Press that the Nazis "wanted to destroy the people, and we fought to protect the people in the ghetto, to extend their life by a day or two or five."
--->
---> "'''I remember them all boys and girls 220 altogether, not too many to remember their faces, their names'''," he said of the young fighters.
* Also in Warsaw, a rather understated memorial. Hundreds of metal crosses welded onto a mine cart. Every cross represents ONE THOUSAND Polish citizens who lost their lives during WWII.
* There's a memorial in London's Hyde Park that, like so many other memorials in London, is dedicated to the dead of the British Empire. But not to humans; this one was dedicated to all of the animals, mostly horses, that died in Britain's wars over the years, with the engraved images of a variety of animals including horses, camels, and elephants. There's an inscription on the memorial reading "They Had No Choice."
** Hidden away in Hyde Park is the "Pet Cemetery"----a cemetery for people's pets, in use from the 1880s till the early 1900s. The inscriptions on the monuments---"For Seven Years We Were Such Friends" and the like---often speak of the anguish of the bereaved owners in a way that can still move the viewer, even now.
** At the foot of Tokyo tower is a memorial to a group of sled dogs that survive months alone in the polar regions after being abandoned by their owners (IIRC) a Japanese polar expedition. It seems the Brits and the Japanese both have respect for their guilt over misuse of animals.
* A tearjerker not mentioned here yet is the Memorial Park in Shanghai, China. It made me so sad because of the striking amplitude of truth and artificiality. We have a very modern park, much nature, and on two sides around the Memorial Museum there is the cemetery. A very cared for cemetery often with the pictures of the fallen on the graves, with lights and incense. And then you walk through the other part of the park full of statues which are... not really memorial but propaganda. They are made with inspiration of northern, Greek and maybe Roman influence. They don't remember, they strengthen and it made me soo sad to think of all those who fell during the war and to see that they are placed with statues like these, real sadness on the one side, absolute artificiality on the other.
* Tombstone, aka The Town Too Tough To Die doesn't seem like much of a TearJerker. Then when you visit Boothill cemetery the reality of all the people that died hits you like a ton of bricks. Nearly half of all the graves marked are unmarked, which just means that a lot of the people who died in Tombstone weren't all very well known and maybe even had no family to turn to. Then you see the graves of the foreigners which indicates some racism that may have been involved. Then you get to the one black man who was lynched and another man who got executed for a crime he didn't commit. The worst of all of these are the two graves marked for infants, one only aged 11 months.
* [[http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/tombofun.htm The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier]] in Arlington, VA. Just think, three people who were killed in action, but no one knows who they are, where their families are, and the chances of them ever being identified are long gone. I've never felt more sad in one place than I did there.
** There was actually a fourth tomb in The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In 1998, twenty-six after he was killed, Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie was ''finally'' identified and returned home to his family. The tomb - originally inscribed with the word "Vietnam" - has been reinscribed with the words: "Honoring and Keeping Faith with America's Missing Servicemen"
** Similarly, there was a tomb of the Unknown Child in Halifax, Canada. It was the body of an unidentified young boy recovered from the ''Titanic'', who would come to represent all the children lost at sea. Citizens and sailors from Halifax took care of the boy's funeral and continued to guard and honor the grave as though he was one of their own. After almost a century, a team of scientists attempted to identify the remains, even though they knew the chances were slim. Yet "''Somebody'' wanted us to know who this child is". [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Leslie_Goodwin He now has a name]]
* In 1979, the wife of Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko died suddenly of cerebral hemorrhage. The [[http://michaelsherwood.com/RoykoNovember.html column he wrote in tribute to her]] is in a book collection of his work.
* The Remembrance day ceremonies, particularly the moment of silence. For those outside the commonwealth (or commonwealth countries that commemorate it differently than Canada does): These events are held every November 11th in various places around the country and all schools, as well as being broadcast on television, to commemorate the world wars and war veterans in general. The moment of silences begins and ends with a single bugle plays [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9RwkNVqtog The Last Post and The Rouse]], respectively, which is moving in itself. When it ends, everyone present at the ceremony stands in silence for two minutes, during which time they are to reflect on the sacrifices made for our freedoms. You could hear a pin drop during that time. It's incredibly poignant, and a tear-jerker for sure.
* The statue "City without a heart" in Rotterdam that commemorates those killed in the bombing of the city during the Blitzkrieg. Already heartwrenching by itself when you think of the civilian victims (which nearly included my own parents) but all the more painful when you realise this was one of the main reasons the Netherlands capitulated: to prevent this from happening to other civilians.
* There's a traveling exhibit called [[http://www.wnc.edu/always_lost/ Always Lost: A Meditation On War]]. It's a exhibit honoring the soldiers who have died in the two current wars. It has the typical trappings, such as medals, guidebooks, and even one of the decks of playing cards with all of the major targets in Iraq on them. What was really striking were the walls that featured wallet sized photos of every American solider killed in action since 9/11, as well as an area that featured candid shots of civilians and soldiers.
** Try to read the above while listening to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDh5eoiRJlk this.]]
* The Taj Mahal. According to legend it was built by an Indian monarch out of grief for the passing of one of his favorite wives.
** He was Shah Jahan, and the wife he built it for was Mumtaz Mahal. Even though he had more than one wife, she was his Empress.
* The memorial for the Liquidators (those who went in to seal off the Factory to prevent the radiation from spreading further, ''knowing'' that they were [[HeroicSacrifice all going to die in the process]]) Chernobyl Power Plant Disaster. The inscription bares the phrase "[[http://www.englishbaby.com/forum/LifeTalk/thread/386226-memory-those-saved-world To those who saved the world.]]"
** A sad tinge to this is that the memorial was paid for by the families of victims, charities and donators... and not the government that sent the Liquidators in. Sure what they did had to be done by ''somebody'' or we might not be here talking now, but they could at least have helped out with the bloody memorial.
** The book ''Voices From Chernobyl'', a compendium of firsthand accounts from people who lived in Pripyat at the time of the disaster, really drives it home. The book opens with the narrative of a woman who, at the time, was a newlywed; her husband was a firefighter, one of the first men called to the scene. She describes the time spent in the hospital: watching helplessly as her husband's body ''literally'' fell apart; disobeying hospital rules to stay by his bedside, knowing that she was being exposed to the same radiation that was killing him--and their unborn child; being unable to give him a proper funeral, because his remains were so toxic that he had to be buried in a sealed lead casket. I read the story a mere four months after my own wedding; I broke down sobbing...and went to give my husband a ''huge'' hug.
* On a grave of an infant, the headstone read: "His little crib is empty, as is our hearts."
* The Swiss [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion_Monument Lion of Lucerne]] is a pretty powerful monument. Erected to commemorate the Swiss guards who were massacred during the French Revolution, it has been described as one of the most moving pieces of stone.
* Creator/GrahamChapman's death. Despite John Cleese's [[TheFunInFuneral eulogy]] and the rendition of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", you can tell the other Pythons were all really sad.
* Somewhere, snuggly placed in the center of England, is the [[http://www.thenma.org.uk/index.aspx National Memorial Arboretum]], a beautiful grove of planted trees dedicated to all those who died in the service of their country. Ranging from the heart-breaking [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/58/Shot_at_Dawn_memorial.JPG/800px-Shot_at_Dawn_memorial.JPG Shot at Dawn]], a sculpture of a seventeen year old boy shot for 'cowardice', to the inspiring [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Forces_War_Memorial:National_Memorial_Arboretum Polish Forces War Memorial]], a dedication to those Poles who served the UK, it's generally a wonderful place...until you see the centerpiece. The Armed Forces Memorial. With sixteen thousand names already inscribed, it's a heartbreaking thing, not only because there's fifteen thousand names waiting to be inscribed, but also because of the dedication and love put into making it.
* On an unknown grave in Ireland:
-->''Tears cannot restore her. Therefore I weep.''
* Erich Kastner's epitaph for the destruction of Dresden during WWII: "I was born in the most beautiful city in the world. Even if your father, child, was the richest man in the world, he could not take you to see it, because it does not exist any more... In a thousand years was her beauty built, in one night was it utterly destroyed".
* A grave somewhere in England, for a brother and sister who died of diphtheria within hours of each other: "They lived together, and played together, and in death they were not divided."
* Two of my personal favorite memorials are found at Washington National Cathedral:
** Just off the main Nave of the Cathedral a corner dedicated to Abraham Lincoln. There you can find a statue of Lincoln standing in front of the text of the speech he gave before leaving Illinois to go to the White House, but what I find most moving is this enscription:
---> Abraham Lincoln
--->Whose lonely soul
--->God kindled
--->Is here remembered
--->By a people
--->Their conflict healed
--->By the truth
--->That marches on.
** In one of the chapels in the crypt of the Cathedral, there is a small, slightly grubby-looking bronze plaque that is easy to overlook. On closer examination, it turns out to be in remembrance of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan, her teacher, who are buried together in that room. The reason why the plaque is so grubby-looking is that it's written in English and Braille, and has been rubbed over by fingers so many times that the bronze has been discolored.
* {{PBS}} did a documentary a few years back called "Broadway: The American Musical." It devoted a two or three-minute montage of photographs of people in the Broadway community who died of AIDS in the 1980s- set to "I Am What I Am" from LaCageAuxFolles.
* The Newseum in Washington DC (devoted to the media, as you can guess from the name) has two exhibits that break my heart every time I see them (there are reasons why there are tissues strategically placed around the exhibits):
** There is an exhibit devoted to various photographs that have won Pulitzer Prizes for journalism- some from Breaking News stories, some from features. So many of those pictures are just absolutely heartbreaking, as they show poverty, murder, natural disaster, refugees fleeing civil wars... and still manage to include photos of hopeful and uplifting stories.
** Also, their exhibit on September 11th. It includes a portion of the radio tower that was on top of the North Tower, reporters who had been on the scene detailing what they had experienced, raw footage from the day... and notes from visitors, remembering and reflecting on that day.
* Someone, out there, right now, is suffering, and may vary well die alone, unloved and unmourned. To you...whoever you are.
* The Memorial Fountain at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia is dedicated to the 75 people killed in the crash of Southern Airways Flight 932 (including 37 Thundering Herd football players and almost all of the coaching staff) in 1970. The fountain is turned off at the exact date and time of the crash (November 14 at 7:36pm EST) and remains off until the following spring. The memorial plaque is inscribed simply: ''"They shall live on in the hearts of their families and friends forever and this memorial records their loss to the university and the community."''
* "[[http://demandprogress.org/ This was not suicide. It was murder by intimidation, bullying and torment."]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_light_has_gone_out_of_our_lives The Light Has Gone Out]], the speech given by Jawaharlal Nehru in response to the assassination of MahatmaGandhi.
-->''[[http://www.emersonkent.com/speeches/the_light_has_gone_out_of_our_lives.htm The light has gone out of our lives]] and there is darkness everywhere. I do not know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will never see him again as we have seen him for these many years. [...] The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong. For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many years will illumine this country for many more years, and a thousand years later, that light will be seen in this country and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts. For that light represented something more than the immediate past, it represented the living, the eternal truths, reminding us of the right path, drawing us from error, taking this ancient country to freedom.''
** Also worth noting [[http://www.elloraone.com/history/indianhistory/the-light/ Lord Mountbatten's meeting with Nehru and Patel]] shortly after the assassination.
** And Bernard Shaw's darker response: ''"It shows how dangerous it is to be good."''
* The Czech town of Lidice. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidice Look it up]]. In WWII, this town was falsely blamed for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942, and as a response, the Nazis destroyed the entire town. Men, women and children were killed. What remained of the town was leveled. Within the space of a month, ''everything was gone''. Now the area has been turned into a memorial...[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Memorial_lidice_children_(2007)-commons.JPG including a statue of the children who died there]]. It's heartbreaking.
* In the small town of New Alresford, Hampshire, England, there's [[http://www.hampshirecam.co.uk/mar/alresford_dog_mem.jpg this grave belonging to a dog]]. ''Here lies Hambone Jr. Faithful friend of the 47th Infantry Regt. 9th Div. U.S. Army. May 1944.''
----
The Glorious Dead
----
[[redirect:TearJerker/RealLife]]
15th Apr '13 1:50:30 AM Twoie92
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* The Czech town of Lidice. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidice Look it up]]. In WWII, this town was falsely blamed for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in 1942, and as a response, the Nazis destroyed the entire town. Men, women and children were killed. What remained of the town was leveled. Within the space of a month, ''everything was gone''. Now the area has been turned into a memorial...[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Memorial_lidice_children_(2007)-commons.JPG including a statue of the children who died there]]. It's heartbreaking.
* In the small town of New Alresford, Hampshire, England, there's [[http://www.hampshirecam.co.uk/mar/alresford_dog_mem.jpg this grave belonging to a dog]]. ''Here lies Hambone Jr. Faithful friend of the 47th Infantry Regt. 9th Div. U.S. Army. May 1944.''
14th Apr '13 11:55:31 AM RadicalTaoist
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* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_light_has_gone_out_of_our_lives The Light Has Gone Out]], the speech given by Jawaharlal Nehru in response to the assassination of MahatmaGandhi.
-->''[[http://www.emersonkent.com/speeches/the_light_has_gone_out_of_our_lives.htm The light has gone out of our lives]] and there is darkness everywhere. I do not know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will never see him again as we have seen him for these many years. [...] The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong. For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many years will illumine this country for many more years, and a thousand years later, that light will be seen in this country and the world will see it and it will give solace to innumerable hearts. For that light represented something more than the immediate past, it represented the living, the eternal truths, reminding us of the right path, drawing us from error, taking this ancient country to freedom.''
** Also worth noting [[http://www.elloraone.com/history/indianhistory/the-light/ Lord Mountbatten's meeting with Nehru and Patel]] shortly after the assassination.
** And Bernard Shaw's darker response: ''"It shows how dangerous it is to be good."''
9th Apr '13 1:51:06 PM TheMysteriousTroper
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* The World War I memorial in Washington DC: Not only does it come across as neglected and altogether forgotten, the inscription dedicating it to those who served in the "war to end all wars" really twists the knife. Especially after one has walked past all the memorials to the wars that followed it. What makes it even more depressing is that the WWI memorial in DC is DC's WWI memorial.

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* The World War I memorial in Washington DC: Not only does it come across as neglected and altogether forgotten, the inscription dedicating it to those who served in the "war to end all wars" really twists the knife. Especially after one has walked past all the memorials to the wars that followed it. What makes it even more depressing is that the WWI memorial in DC is DC's WWI memorial.memorial (meaning: it only commemorates citizens of the District of Columbia who served; there is actually [[http://www.wwimemorial.org/ an organization]] ''still'' trying to get a national memorial placed in the Mall).
3rd Apr '13 4:51:54 PM TheBibliothecarius
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* Kipling's "Common Form" for soldiers' epitaphs: "If any question why we died / Tell them, because our fathers lied."
3rd Apr '13 4:49:57 PM TheBibliothecarius
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* Kipling's "Common Form" for soldiers' epitaphs: "If any question why we died / Tell them, because our fathers lied."
19th Jan '13 3:06:16 PM CaptEquinox
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* "[[http://demandprogress.org/ This was not suicide. It was murder by intimidation, bullying and torment."]]
4th Jan '13 2:40:42 PM CaptEquinox
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-->''Close your eyes and listen. Listen to the silent screams of terrified mothers, the prayers of anguished old men and women. Listen to the tears of children, Jewish children, a beautiful little girl among them, with golden hair, whose vulnerable tenderness has never left me. Look and listen as they quietly walk towards dark flames so gigantic that the planet itself seemed in danger. (...) Yitgadal veyitkadash, Shmay Rabba:[[hottip:* :first words of the Kaddish, a Jewish prayer told at mourning rituals]] Weep for Thy children whose death was not mourned then: weep for them, our Father in heaven, for they were deprived of their right to be buried, for heaven itself became their cemetery.''

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-->''Close your eyes and listen. Listen to the silent screams of terrified mothers, the prayers of anguished old men and women. Listen to the tears of children, Jewish children, a beautiful little girl among them, with golden hair, whose vulnerable tenderness has never left me. Look and listen as they quietly walk towards dark flames so gigantic that the planet itself seemed in danger. (...) Yitgadal veyitkadash, Shmay Rabba:[[hottip:* :first :"Exalted and sanctified be God's great name", first words of the Kaddish, a Jewish prayer told at mourning rituals]] rituals.]] Weep for Thy children whose death was not mourned then: weep for them, our Father in heaven, for they were deprived of their right to be buried, for heaven itself became their cemetery.''
4th Dec '12 3:38:12 PM mlsmithca
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* The statue "City without a heart" in Rotterdam that commemorates those killed in the bombing of the city during the Blitzkrieg. Already heartwrenching by itself when you think of the civilian victims (which nearly included my own parents) but all the more painful when you realise this was one of the main reasons the Netherlands capitulated: to prevent this from happening to other civilians. ItGotWorse...

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* The statue "City without a heart" in Rotterdam that commemorates those killed in the bombing of the city during the Blitzkrieg. Already heartwrenching by itself when you think of the civilian victims (which nearly included my own parents) but all the more painful when you realise this was one of the main reasons the Netherlands capitulated: to prevent this from happening to other civilians. ItGotWorse...



** Try to read the above while listening to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDh5eoiRJlk

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** Try to read the above while listening to this: http://www.[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDh5eoiRJlkcom/watch?v=YDh5eoiRJlk this.]]
29th Oct '12 8:09:09 PM Spotts1701
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* The Memorial Fountain at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia is dedicated to the 75 people killed in the crash of Southern Airways Flight 932 (including 37 Thundering Herd football players and almost all of the coaching staff) in 1970. The fountain is turned off at the exact date and time of the crash (November 14 at 7:36pm EST) and remains off until the following spring. The memorial plaque is inscribed simply: ''"They shall live on in the hearts of their families and friends forever and this memorial records their loss to the university and the community."''
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=TearJerker.MemorialsAndEpitaphs