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The Dead Have Names

"The Alliance lost eight cruisers. Shenyang. Emden. Jakarta. Cairo. Seoul. Cape Town. Warsaw. Madrid. And yes, I remember them all. Everyone in the Fifth Fleet is a hero. The Alliance owes them all medals. The Council owes them a lot more than that. And so do you."
Commander Shepard to Khalisah al-Jilani, Mass Effect 2

The opposite of A Million is a Statistic, when the names of those who died are given instead of just faceless numbers to show respect of their sacrifice. A Sub-Trope of Nominal Importance: a list of a hundred names hits much harder than "100 people died".

A common variation of this trope is a high-rank military commander memorizing the names of all those who died carrying out his orders, despite not technically having to, usually used to dramatically reveal him as A Father to His Men.

Related to What Measure Is a Mook?. See also He Had a Name.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Wufei is stunned to learn that Treize Khushrenada not only knows exactly how many soldiers have been killed in action under his command, but he's memorized the names of every one of them.
  • In the Tsukihime anime as well as in the manga adaptation, Shiki hears a news broadcast where the entirety of Nrvnsqr Chaos' victims is listed in name. This is how he learns of Satsuki's (apparent) death.
  • A minor one from Code Geass: after FLEIJA was launched on the Tokyo Settlement, Nina was shown the names of all who died in the explosion.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Van Hohenheim, the Elric boys' father, knows the names of everybody who died in the last days of Xerxes, and very early in his character development, even before The Reveal of his true nature, he's seen listing them out and then announcing, "I'm going to have to use you."
    • Solf J. Kimblee has a similar philosophy. While learning the names of the various Ishvalan people they're killing would be implausible, he considers it a soldier's obligation to learn the faces of every person they kill in their professional capacity as a soldier; after all, "they'll always remember you..." It's a remarkably inspiring scene coming from a complete and utter sociopath.
  • In D.Gray-Man, when the European Branch of the Order is beginning to move their headquarters, they are attacked by a ghost girl who intends to keep them trapped in the castle forever. The ghost girl eventually reveals that the Order brought her there when she was a child and had kept experimenting on her until she died. She's been trapped in the castle for so long, she does not even remember her own name. Komui then recites a long list of names of people who had died because of the Order's experiments.
  • In Naruto, Konoha has a monument listing the name of every ninja who has died in service to the village.
  • Happens repeatedly in Attack on Titan, with various characters listing the casualties of the encounters with the Titans they just survived, even if those names were never even mentioned before.

    Comics 
  • After the Sinestro Corps War, Vath Sarn takes the time to recite the names of all 400-something Green Lanterns who died in the conflict, and then take a drink after each one.
  • An Avengers comic showed one of the first things Captain America did when he woke up from his frozen slumber; read the entire Vietnam War memorial, to show his respect to all that died in a war he missed. He visits every War Memorial of a war he missed, and learns as many names as he can.
  • In the aftermath of Blackest Night, Saint Walker is shown saying a prayer over the grave of everyone who was reanimated in the crisis. That includes the entire former population of Coast City.
  • In the season nine comics of Buffy the Vampire Slayer guess who invokes this, in regards to South American drug dealers no less? None other that Faith. Yes, that Faith.

    Fan Works 
  • kalash93 has brought this up on more than one occasion:
    • He first did it in Last One Standing. The fact that the immortal character remembers everyone she's ever met throughout her millennia of life makes this a very poignant moment.
    • It was done again in Reflections as a sort of Call Back moment.
  • In Reprise (the prequel to Hivefled), Gamzee finds the previous trap victims' names carved into the walls of the cell, invoking this trope in a particularly sad fashion.
  • Bait and Switch opens chapter eight with Eleya in the USS Bajor's morgue. In her narration she rattles off the names of the five members of her crew who died in the fights in chapters six and seven, and feels guilty that, with the exception of Crewman Cdebaat from Security, she didn't know any of them beyond that.

    Film 
  • Captain Miller in Saving Private Ryan seems to recall the names of all his dead soldiers (although he sometimes needs a reminder from Sgt Horvath). Also notable is the fact that Ryan asks for and memorizes the names of the squad members who died trying to find him, an act which begins the process of The Squad accepting him.
  • Defied in the Wing Commander film, where the characters deliberately tried to pretend that their dead comrades never existed.
    Lt. Cmdr. Devereaux: Who in the hell do you think you are? Let me give you a reality check. In all likelihood, you're going to die out here. We're all going to die out here — but none of us need to be reminded of that fact. So you die, you never existed. Understand?
    • Maniac refuses to follow this custom, and convinces Blair to do likewise.
  • Starship Troopers: After the battle of Big K, they get back to the space station Ticonderoga and there's a big display with the names of the dead scrolling on it.
  • In Fight Club: "His name was Robert Paulsen."
  • Averted in The Shawshank Redemption. A new inmate is brutally beaten to death by a guard on his first night. When the prisoners discuss the death the next morning, Andy asks the name of the man who died. The answer is a sharp, "Who gives a fuck."
  • The group commander in Memphis Belle hands a folder full of copies he had written families to the reporter who implied that the commander didn't value the individual lives of his crews. As the reporter is reading them, the images of the screen indicate that many times 'he died quickly, and without pain' were Blatant Lies.
  • In Battle: Los Angeles, the Marines are skeptical about Sergeant Nantz's ability lead them, since they believe that he callously sacrificed his squad to complete a mission in Iraq. Nantz then counters by reciting the name, rank, and serial number of every man that died under his command during that mission, treating it as his greatest failure.
  • In Face/Off, after the police finally take down criminal mastermind Castor Troy in a violent shootout, they celebrate back at headquarters with a bottle of champagne. Sean Archer interrupts the celebration by holding up the bottle and solemnly reciting the names of the agents killed by Castor in the shootout.
  • The Great Escape ends with the reading out of a list of the 50 escapees shot by the SS, naming each one.

    Literature 
  • In The Wheel of Time, Rand Al'thor uses this as a Madness Mantra, reciting a long list of every woman he's killed, caused to die, led to their deaths, failed to save, happened to be around when they died...
  • Despite his claims that he's a self-absorbed Dirty Coward, Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) becomes shocked at one point when he realises that he's forgotten the face of one of the soldiers who died under his command. Decades later — said decades being filled with combat and so with more deaths.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe has had a few instances, notably:
    • In the X-Wing series, Wedge Antilles repeatedly remembers the names and faces of those who fought by his side and died under his command.
    • In Order 66, the fourth book of the Republic Commando series, two of the Mandalorian sergeants responsible for training the special forces clone commandos gather to recite the names of every commando who fell over the past two years at barracks. It's over five thousand names. The scene becomes rather touching when, slowly at first then in larger numbers, the off duty clones join in the recitation of the names of their lost comrades. It's made rather clear that this is all the memorial the clones can expect, as few civilians genuinely care about the helmet-masked faceless forces, and even fewer know their names.
      • Even more than that though, The mandalorian commanders didn't just do that to show that they remembered. They did it out of a cultural obligation, where they couldn't forget the names of their 'family'. None of them, given the choice to forget, could have accepted it.
  • Kellen in The Obsidian Trilogy seems to try to fight against this. His war magic gives him the ability and the compulsion to lead the army and that requires him to use the soldiers at his command, knowing that many will die. But he's still human, and though his magic sped up his ascension through the ranks, he comes to personally know many of those that he would later command. He is able to put aside the names for the duration of the war but it almost becomes too much for him by the end.
  • In The Vor Game, Miles Vorkosigan specifically asks for the name of a soldier who just died saving his life.
  • Richard Bolitho, hero of a Wooden Ships and Iron Men series by Alexander Kent, in one of the books meets a woman who merely gives him her name — and almost instantly, he remembers which position her husband held (quartermaster) on which of his ships (Hyperion, 74 guns, crew of about 700), and in which battle the man was killed roughly five years before... and he recalls, as if seeing a portrait, the dead man's face.
  • In The Black Company, Croaker makes it a personal goal to record the passing of every company member in his books of the Annals.
    • According to Croaker, this is one of the main purposes of the Annals — to have a record of the dead. The few times sections from older Annals are read aloud, they contain lists of the fallen.
  • The Iliad would be a lot shorter had Homer not recorded the name (sometimes accompanied by a short biography) of every single person who died in it. There were no faceless extras in the Trojan War, everybody has a name, and quite a few get a sympathetic story even if it takes only one paragraph.
  • In Eldest, Roran recites the names of a dozen villagers of Carvahall who died fighting The Empire during his Rousing Speech.
  • A passing detail in the Dan Abnett Gaunt's Ghosts novel Ghostmaker reveals that Ibram Gaunt memorises the names and faces of every soldier who dies under his command. In fact, he believes the day he can't remember a fallen soldier's face is the day he is lost.
  • Near the end of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers novella Wildfire, there is an extract from the Captain's Log that lists the 23 (out of a crew of 40) crewmembers who were killed in that mission. The most "important" character in the list, Second Officer Duffy is just tossed into the list with no significant importance.
    • In the Star Trek: Destiny follow-up A Singular Destiny, there is a brief interlude showing a casualty list of people killed in a specific sector of space. All of the names were of characters we never met, except for B'Elanna Torres and Miral Paris. However, both of them were actually still alive.
  • In the Discworld novel Night Watch, the older members of the Night Watch make a point of visiting the casualties of the Glorious Revolution every year. Averted in the Dolly Sisters Massacre, however.
    • In Going Postal, the signallers and engineers who die on the Grand Trunk have their names sent over the network to their home town. But one name, John Dearheart, cycles permanently throughout the entire network, in the overhead where the signallers can read it. When asked why by an apprentice, the gaffer replies; "A man's not dead while his name's still spoken."
  • In Death: Eve Dallas has the gift and curse of remembering all the murder victims she stands for. Seduction In Death had her fighting with this one Jerkass of a cop who had the nerve to bring up her actions in Judgment In Death and call her the Rat Squad's (Internal Affairs) poster girl to her face. She responds that there were cops being murdered in that case and she asks if he wants their names because she has every single one of them in her head.
  • In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet, Captain John Geary notices a plaque Tanya Desjani keeps listing "absent friends." The latest name? Jaylen Cresida.
  • In one of the most Tear Jerker scenes of Stephen King's The Dark Tower, Roland finally makes it to the Dark Tower and names off every single person who he caused to die or who died for him. It shows how much more human and sentimental he has become since his second katet.
  • While it didn't happen constantly, Romance of the Three Kingdoms would sometimes give the names of several people who died from a specific event. These names may or may not have been mentioned before that point, and may never be important to the story. Understandable though, since it is based on actual history.
  • In War and Remembrance, Herman Wouk breaks off his account of the Battle of Midway to list all the members of the three American torpedo-bomber squadrons that were wiped out.
    So long as men choose to decide the turns of history with the slaughter of youths — and even in a better day, when this form of human sacrifice has been abolished like the ancient, superstitious, but no more horrible form — the memory of these three American torpedo plane squadrons should not die. The old sagas would halt the tale to list the names and birthplaces of men who fought so well. Let this romance follow the tradition.
  • Subverted in Derek Robinson's WW1 black comedy Goshawk Squadron, where Major Wooley, the squadron CO, doesn't even bother learning his pilots' names as there's no bloody point, most of them are going to get killed in the first few days. He leaves this to the Adjutant.
  • In Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, after the Six Duchies mounts a military campaign to exterminate the Forged, the slain Forged, having once been human, are given funeral rites with their names read. Except too often there wasn't anyone to identify the body, so instead their faces are described.
  • David Weber essentially goes out of his way, at least in the Honor Harrington novels, to create minor characters that are given names and just enough page time to make the reader like them before they are brutally and sometimes senselessly killed. Every battle, no matter how seemingly minor, will have at least a handful of these. He is bound and determined to drive home the point that War Is Hell, and he succeeds in heartbreakingly effective fashion. Note that this doesn't even include the major or significant supporting characters, any one of which could die at any time.
  • Horus Heresy: Following the Massacre at Isstvan, the Iron Hands who escaped on board the Sisypheum inscribed the names of the dead on their armour. Special honour is afforded to those who witnessed their Primarch fall and have acid-etched the name "FERRUS MANUS" onto their shoulder-pads.
  • Idlewild, in-universe: The characters see their situation as a crisis, but what personally brings it home is the sack of letters from dying (and now dead) children.

    Live Action TV 
  • An inversion happens in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Heroes": at Dr. Fraiser's funeral, Samantha Carter recites a list of people who are alive thanks to her, which is just about every SGC soldier or employee at one time or another.
    • Similarly, in an episode of Mash where Hawkeye is writing his will, he promises to BJ's little daughter a list of all the lives her daddy saved.
  • The posting of the weekly casualty report, a list of all the people killed or missing in the Dominion War, becomes a big deal in several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
    • Subverted in the episode of "The Siege of AR-558" after a brutal battle on the front lines (which turns out to be a relatively light week in the overall war).
    Sisko: They're not just names, it's important we remember that. We have to remember...
    • Also used at the end of "The Ship," when Sisko reads the list of those who were killed to Dax and reminisces about them.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Lower Decks:" Picard makes a shipwide announcement about an ensign who was lost and presumed killed in the line of duty.
    • Also in "Best of Both Worlds Part II" when the Enterprise arrives at Wolf 359 after the battle and Shelby starts listing the dead starships by name.
    Shelby: The Tolstoy, the Kyushu... The Melbourne.note .
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Aliens of London"/"World War III", the Doctor tries to find out the name of a minor character that he'd met very briefly (and whose death was not the Doctor's fault), while taking care of his corpse. When Harriet Jones, who had more interaction with the dead man, doesn't know either, the Doctor gently apologises to him, and makes do with at least arranging the body in a more dignified manner. (Though it's rather moot in the end, what with them blowing up the whole building, it was clearly meant as a respectful gesture at the time.)
      • In a nice Continuity Nod, Harriet Jones makes a point of finding out the name of another minor character she interacts with in a later episode.
    • "The Satan Pit" ends with the base commander making a log entry listing all the base personnel who have died. He even includes the Ood, who in life were so little-regarded they didn't even have names, and he doesn't just say "and all the Ood", he lists each of their ID numbers individually.
    • Greyhound 40's unit is ordered to stand against Sontarans in "The Poison Sky" and is killed. As his commander tries to get a response the Doctor cuts him off with, "He wasn't Greyhound 40, his name was Ross," and demands that he sound the retreat. The General complies.
    • In "Midnight," after the stewardess sacrifices herself to save him, the Doctor is particularly devastated that none of the passengers knew her name.
    • In "Vampires of Venice," the Doctor is absolutely furious that Rosanna didn't know Isabella's name, even though she murdered her.
      The Doctor: I will tear down the House of Calvierri stone by stone. And you know why? You didn't know Isabella's name.
  • In episode 2x15 of the new Battlestar Galactica, "Scar", after Kat bets the titular Raider and surpasses Starbuck as Galactica's "Top Gun", Starbuck pours Kat her ceremonial drink. Everyone expects a toast. She does, but instead of toasting Kat, Starbuck starts listing the callsigns of all the pilots who had perished thus far in the series. This is especially meaningful, as she had claimed earlier to Apollo that she couldn't even remember any of their names.
    Starbuck: To BB, Jo-Jo, Reilly, Beano, Dipper, Flat Top, Chuckles, Jolly, Crashdown, Sheppard, Dash, Flyboy, Stepchild, Puppet, Fireball... [stops, crying]
    Apollo: To all of 'em.
    Admiral Adama: So say we all.
    Crew: So say we all.
    Starbuck: So say we all.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles featured the team trying to find an intelligence officer who had copied some classified data (although no one knew what he had copied). Everyone (including the FBI) assume he was trying to release information to discredit the military. The information was the names of soldiers who had died in classified missions in Afghanistan. The man, who was considered too valuable to be sent into combat, wanted to honor the men who were sent into danger by making sure others knew they'd given their lives for their country and weren't just anonymous casualty statistics.
    • After Jenny's death on NCIS, a star with her name is added to the commemorative display outside of MTAC.
  • Used on Babylon 5 in the episode "Ceremonies of Light and Dark", where all those who died in the previous episode are named.
  • In the Grand Finale of Waking the Dead, Boyd is arrested and interviewed by the corrupt policeman responsible (directly or indirectly) for the torture and death of numerous homeless boys. Boyd says nothing in the interview, except to coldly list the name or nickname of every single one of them, knowing full-well that the interviewing policeman knows what he's talking about but nobody else does. Slightly subverted, however, as (to Boyd's irritation) not all of the boys were considered important enough at the time to have their names recorded:
    Boyd: ...and twenty African boys whose names I do not know.
  • In the first episode of Kamen Rider OOO, the Ride Vendor Platoon are ordered to destroy the Greeed, and only their leader is definitely seen to have survived all the explosions (at least one other appears later and it's stated they still exist, but they might be different ones), however in the next scene in Kougami's office a list of names can be seen on a screen for a few seconds with terminated next to them, all having individual names.
  • The Walking Dead has a few of these in season 3. When trying to come up with a name for the baby Carl lists all the female characters who have died up to that point. Later Rick has a conversation over the phone with who he thinks is a group of other survivors, it turns out to be his hallucination of all the characters from his group who have died so far (except for Shane).
  • In Spooks, after Ruth gets a Bridge Dropped on Her Harry pays a visit to the grid's memorial wall. There's a lot of names on it, including several other cast members.
  • Spartacus: War of the Damned: In a poignant moment at Crixus' funeral, the rebels begin to call out the names of their friends, allies, and loved ones who have died during the rebellion. A few who died before the rebellion are named as well, as their deaths helped start the rebellion. Impressively, most of the (significant) deceased characters are mentioned.

    Music 
  • Woody Guthrie's song "The Sinking of the Reuben James" asks the audience to contribute the names of the sailors who died on the ship in the title: "Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names/ Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?"
    • Guthrie wrote the lyrics for "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" after reading an article about Mexican migrant workers dying in a plane crash but noting that the pilots were named in the article but the workers weren't. 65 years later a researcher managed to find the names of the victims, three of whom had the same first names as the ones Guthrie invented for the song (Juan, Jesus, Maria), plus one near miss (Rosalio instead of Rosalita).
  • Carlos Nuñez's version of "Viva la Quince Brigada", a song by Christy Moore that remembers the Irish dead in the Spanish Civil War, ends with a recital of names. "And more... and more."
  • An interlude in "Make It Stop (September's Children)", by Rise Against lists the names of gay teens who committed suicide during September 2010.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Sergeant Lukas Bastonne is a charismatic and brilliant leader of men — who also has a photographic memory and remembers the names of every man who died in his command. Rumours persist that he has their names tattooed across his body as a permanent memorial.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect:
    • In Mass Effect 2, Paragon Shepard can do this during an interview, listing every Alliance ship that was destroyed in the original game's ending while carrying out Shepard's orders.
    • Another minor example is the Normandy Crash Site DLC, where you have to look for the dog tags of each crew member who died when the original Normandy went down and every time you pick one up, the name on it is displayed on the HUD.
    • In Mass Effect 3, their names plus all squadmates' who died in the previous games are found on a plaque in the crew quarters of the Normandy, right across the elevator. As the game progresses, additional names are etched into it.
    • Garrus etched the names of all his fallen squadmates in his targeting visor. He struck Sidonis' name from it after knowing that he was the traitor responsible for their deaths.
  • Halo 3: ODST has a memorial to fallen ONI operatives in the war against the covenant. Several are seen elsewhere in the universe, and a few turn out to actually be alive.
  • Cannon Fodder names all the soldiers, and recounts a list of the Lost In Battle after each mission.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening we learn of a dwarven commander who rallied the Casteless dwarves (those so low on the dwarves' strict social ranking that they're not even considered people) to make a last stand against the monsters invading the city. A ghost/memory of him is shown carving the names of the fallen dwarves on to a stone table — he doesn't want them to be dismissed as "casteless" when they fought so bravely. It turns out to be his final act — he is killed as he engraves the stone. Your PC can retrieve the stone and entrust it to a dwarven ally, who presumably returns it to the dwarven archives to be preserved for posterity.
    • In the original Dragon Age: Origins, there is a list (near the Anvil of the Void) of the dwarves who became golems. Their names are recorded because the golems are made by killing the dwarf in a nightmarish fashion and using their soul to power the golems — so they effectively "die" as dwarves, even if their soul is, arguably, still present.
    • In the "Warden's Keep" DLC we learn of Sophia Dryden's revolt against the King of Ferelden that led to the Grey Wardens' expulsion from the country, including a list of all the Wardens who died in the defense of Soldier's Peak.
  • Similar to the Starship Troopers movie, Modern Warfare had a scrolling list of all 30,000 US Marines who died in the nuclear blast.
    • Modern Warfare 2 has a list of the Zakhaev International Airport massacre victims, but it scrolls by too fast to read any of their names.
  • Dwarf Fortress. You can look in your inventory menu to see how many deaths you've got, but you can also take a look at the Units tab and see the names of each and every one. In addition, everyone who dies during World Generation has a name, an occupation, a home and a list of places they've been to and people they've fought with. Knowing that your fortress is settling down on top of the Hills of Fallen Clocks, where over three hundred named Kobolds lost their lives in a one-man invasion by the Horned One Kvalach (who was eventually killed by the human Fish Dissector Aldon Brugh), is somewhat moving.
  • At the end of Project: Snowblind, there is a memorial screen where the names of every allied NPC that was killed during the game scrolls past.
  • Some Fire Emblem games have battle reports which includes a list of characters fallen (which usually means permanently dead).
  • In Command & Conquer: Renegade, the interior of the Hands of Nod show that Brotherhood of Nod maintains a "shrine" at the entrance that contains a video screen displaying a constant, scrolling display of the dead men and women who fought for the Brotherhood, complete with a recording that exhorts the Brotherhood's faithful to remember and honor the sacrifice of their fellows.
  • In Corpse Party, the player can collect 'name tags' by looking at the various corpses strewn about, explaining who they were and how they died. The manga adaptation echoes this effect with black pages after each chapter that list similar tidbits of information.
  • In the Deus Ex, mission when you break out of the formerly friendly prison the body of any guard you kill will have a name but if you just knock them out it will be labeled 'Unconscious guard'.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind gave the majority of unimportant NPCs, such as the outlaws hiding in the caves that dotted the landscape, actual names as part of it's static world. This is different unlike the other games in the series who are just respawning NPCs named things like "Bandit". It gave it a bit more feel of being a world with characters as opposed to generic spawning adventure fodder.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has the NCR war memorial outside of Boulder City. The back is covered with names of soldiers who died fighting the Legion.
  • In the IL-2 Sturmovik series, each of your wingmen have their own full names, stats, photos, diaries and awards and they are presented as your equals, also averting Designated Hero. And while reinforcements are regularly flowing in, the loss or survival of each wingman (particularly an experienced one) can influence the outcome of a particular theatre of war.
  • In Operation Flashpoint and its successor ARMA, each of your fellow fighters has his own name and face. In the Resistance campaign of Operation Flashpoint, you can even grow attached to them, since they transfer from mission to mission, making you want to avert the need for New Meat.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown has a memorial in the barracks, listing the name, number of missions, and kills of any soldier KIA. This may be moot for some, however, since some players would realize that many of their soldiers would die quickly, and easily at one misstep and just enlist soldiers by the bucketfull. Well, that or rely on Save Scumming.
  • Radioman in Spec Ops: The Line attempts to inflict this on Walker when he's headed towards him and killing everyone in his way. It kind of falls flat though when it becomes clear that Radioman doesn't know very much about the victims either.
  • One section of Bastion has the Kid encountering victims of the Cataclysm, turned to easily crumbled statues made of ash. Each time he encounters them, Lemony Narrator Rucks lists off their names.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Exo Squad, Captain Avery Butler writes a personal apology letter to the family of every Jumptrooper lost under his command, even while the Exofleet has no way to actually deliver the letters to the Neosapien-occupied Earth.
    • Also, when Nara Burns finishes off the Big Bad Phaeton in the finale, she tells him her late brother's name — one of the millions of victims of Phaeton's plans.
  • In an episode of the original Transformers series, the lead characters investigated a Mausoleum for fallen autobots. There names were all listed, Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl, Huffer.
  • Superman tries to get Darkseid to understand this in Justice League (because Darkseid killed Dan Turpin during his attempt to overthrow Earth in Superman: The Animated Series) but Darkseid being who he is simply responds that he would have killed so many more if he knew it would set Superman so askew (in other words he doesn't want to know their names because it's not his style).

    Real Life 
  • The Vietnam War Memorial. Or any sufficiently large memorial, for that matter.
    • Sometimes the Vietnam War Memorial is known simply as The Wall. The names' lettering is in matte black finish that's flush with the background, while the background itself is polished mirror smooth, so when one reads a name, they do so while looking their own reflection in the eyes.
    • The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor also has a list of the names of those that died.
  • The annual memorial reading of the names of people that died on 9/11. As of 2011, they're listed around the memorial at the site where the towers stood.
  • Many European towns and cities have a memorial for one or more of the continent's many wars, especially the two World Wars, of course.
  • The WWI memorial in Redipuglia, Italy is a huge stairway with the names of the dead from the Italian 3rd Army, and on top is also a grave for the 600,000 unknown soldiers.
  • Subverted by the Tombs of the Unknown Soldier: the dead are honored, despite their names being unknown.
    • Similarly, many wargraves in Commonwealth First World War cemeteries in Europe read simply A Soldier of the Great War, His Name Known Unto God.
    • The names of the missing Commonwealth soldiers are also engraved in various memorials around Belgium and France, near the battlefields where they died. There are so many names that some families took ninety years of searching to find them.
  • The Hall of Names inside of Yad Vashem contains a list of the name of every known Jewish victim of the Holocaust. There is space on the shelves reserved for those who remain unknown.
  • The War Memorial of Koreanote  includes a series of columns engraved with the names of the soldiers and policemen who died in The Korean War, organized by country (and in the case of the Americans, by state as well).
  • In a reversal of sorts from the Unknown Soldier above, the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium and the Thiepval memorial near the Somme battlefield are monuments to the allied dead in the First World War whose bodies have yet to be found.
  • During some wars, especially World War I and World War II, local newspapers would list the names of military casualties as they were reported. Late in the war, Nazi Germany stopped doing so, as the huge lists of names were not helping morale.
    • The names of UK soldiers killed overseas are read out in the House of Commons before Prime Minister's questions, a practice introduced during the Iraq war.
  • Averted by the CIA memorial wall dedicated to agents who died in line of duty, 40 of the 102 entries do not have names. (The agency has said that there are an undisclosed number of others who would be on the wall as well, except that the acknowledgement of their deaths, even namelessly, would compromise operations.)
  • The Space Mirror Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida is a massive square of black granite with the names of those that died in the space program set in it in transparent acrylic. The polished granite reflects the sky, so that the backlit names appear to float among the clouds.
  • Every single French towns has a war memorial ("monument aux morts", monument to the dead) listing names of all the inhabitants of the town who were killed during a war (especially World War One and World War II, sometimes also including Indochina War and Algerian War).
  • A non-military example would be the many, many coastal communities which maintain a memorial for fishermen who perish at sea. Some list lost ships' names alongside those of their crew. Justified because lost fishermen's bodies are seldom recovered, so a fitting alternative to a grave is needed.
    • The Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial in Gloucester, Massachusetts, contains both an eight-foot tall, bronze statue of a fisherman braced at the wheel of his ship and a long list of plaques that name all of those from Gloucester and the surrounding areas who lost their lives at sea. The crew of the Andrea Gail, which was featured in The Perfect Storm, can be found amongst the names on the 1991 plaque.
  • At the end of the book A Scanner Darkly, Philip K. Dick listed off everyone he knew who had died as a result of drugs. He was among them, as he'd learned he was suffering terminal organ failure by the time he wrote that section.
  • After the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in December 2012 in Connecticut, United States, Barack Obama read out a list of the first names of the slain children in a live address.
  • There are many Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen who remember the names of those who died around them. Many carry these names as part of Survivor Guilt, a form of PTSD, where they feel guilty that they lived and did not die instead of/ with others, even if they never knew the dead or despite the fact that often nothing in their power could have prevented the deaths.

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