Wars, battles, and skirmishes have taken place throughout all of history, and regardless of who won in the end, one thing was guaranteed: People will die. In order to honor the dead
, and enlighten people in hopes that such a tragedy never happens again, many civilizations choose to erect monuments and memorials dedicated to the fallen.
Most modern monuments pay respects by listing off the names of each soldier
, while others may be set up to honor the battle itself, regardless of how many died
, and some honor anonymous "unknown soldiers." It doesn't even have to be a battle either. There are monuments dedicated to victims of acts of terrorism and natural disasters as well.
Please limit to only In-Universe
examples. It's fine to mention that one exists, but adding why it exists or how it is relevant to the plot is even better.
Anime and Manga
- In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode 18 "Assassination Duet – LOST HERITAGE", Section 9 is assigned to stop an assassination attempt on a foreign vice-minister who is paying his respects to the Kagoshima War Dead Memorial from Non-Nuclear World War IV.
- In the DVD-only extended ending of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, the three main couples of the series (Kira and Lacus, Shinn and Lunamaria, Athrun and Meyrin) visit a memorial to the fallen in the recent two wars and give their respect to the dead.
- In From Fake Dreams, a Fate/stay night Fan Fic, Saber and Gilgamesh realize that Shirou's reality marble is a memorial to the deeds and lives of the heroes who wielded the originals of the weapons inside it.
- In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, the Normandy SR-2 is turned into one after the Reaper War is won, serving as a reminder both to the lives lost and the costs of the victory. There is also a memorial to Samantha Shepard on the Presidum, erected after her first death at the hands of the Collectors. Finally, Kaidan Alenko's name is etched into a banquet hall aboard the Citadel. That sufficient honor has not been paid to the dead is also discussed several times, but the current situation keeps disallowing proper memorials for the many who have died.
- Saving Private Ryan is bookended with scenes of an elderly Ryan visiting the American Cemetery in Normandy.
- Red Dawn (1984) has Resistance Rock, on which the Wolverines carve the names of their dead. The epilogue reveals it was turned into a formal memorial after the war.
- Koko: The plot begins when four Vietnam War veterans meet at the opening ceremony for the Vietnam War Memorial. One of them has spotted news stories that suggest a fifth member of their unit is alive, and suggests tracking that person down.
- In the backstory of James White's Sector General series, described in the short story "Tableau", the famous Orligian war memorial depicts the greatest victory of the Orligian-Human war: not a battle, but the aftermath of one, and its sole survivors, an Orligian and a Human, whose decision to start a conversation instead of finish each other off was the beginning of the end of the war. The first version of the memorial was not a statue, but the actual starship wreckage containing the actual grievously-injured bodies of Grawlya-Ki and MacEwan, preserved in stasis until medical science advanced enough that both their lives could be saved.
- In An Army Of The Dead, after exterminating the vast majority of their enemies, the undead Cynian army erect a memorial on their mass grave, a large rock with a message gouged out of it: DEAD AT THE HANDS OF THE ARMY OF THE DEAD.
- The aptly titled episode "Memorial" in Star Trek: Voyager showed an interesting twist. The memorial was programmed to Mind Rape anyone who passed within a certain distance of the planet that it was located on. Passersby would relive the events of the war. Once the crew figured out what was going on, Janeway set up beacons in the surrounding area to alert others to stay away, lest they succumb to the same torment they and many others before them went through.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Battlefield", Morgaine initially regards the people of Earth as insignificant savages, but upgrades them to honorable opponents after encountering a memorial to the dead of the World Wars. When Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart happens along she and her men are paying tribute to the dead, she invites him to take part and then lets him go unmolested rather than break the moment with fresh fighting.
- In the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch about the funniest joke in the world, since joke warfare was banned after World War II, in 1950 the last surviving copy of the world's deadliest joke was buried with honor in a tomb raised "To the Unknown Joke."
- In Star Trek Online, players can travel to the battle memorial of Wolf-359. Found in the center of all the wreckage still floating in space is a giant holographic Starfleet symbol emitting from a projector on the monument. As you approach closer to memorial, you hear the ghostly comm chatter from the battle. Over in Romulan space, a holographic memorial is placed for the billions of Romulans who died when Romulus itself was destroyed by the Hobus supernova.
- The Battle of B-R5RB in EVE Online resulted in the destruction of 75 Titans (the most powerful ship in the entire game.) CCP, the developers of the game, dedicated a memorial called "Titanomachy" for the 75 Titans and 4200 other ships destroyed in the battle.
- Fall Out 3 has the Anchorage Memorial, a tribute to all the soldiers who pushed Communist Chinese forces out of Anchorage Alaska. One part of the Wasteland Survival Guide quest line requires you to visit the memorial to study the Mirelurk population living inside it.
- Fallout: New Vegas has two of these. West of Goodsprings is the Yangtze Memorial, which commemorates US soldiers who gave their lives during the Yangtze Campaign against the Communist Chinese during the Great War, and Boulder City has a stone monument listing the NCR soldiers who died during the First Battle of Hoover Dam. If you shoot at it, the nearby soldiers will call you out for disrespecting the dead.
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown. In the Barracks you can go to a memorial to fallen soldiers, which will list all of the units that have fallen in gameplay (including the three killed off in the tutorial mission).
- In a Mass Effect 2 DLC, Shepard can erect a memorial to the fallen crew of the original Normandy at her crash site. In Mass Effect 3, there is a memory wall on the Citadel where people place the names and pictures of their loved ones taken by the war with the Reapers. Also, on the new Normandy, there is now a wall listing the names of all Normandy crew members who lost their lives over the course of three games—including Shepard him/herself in all but one ending.
- World of Warcraft: In Dalaran, there's a memorial to all those who fell to the Scourge during the war against the Lich King.
- Diablo III: In the Festering Woods near New Tristram you can find a memorial to the Last Stand of the Nephalem, and then re-enact it against undead enemies.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: In Kaas City, there is a monument called the Spires of Victory, a monument to the Empire's return to the galaxy, the retaking of their ancient worlds and the Sacking of Coruscant. This one is a bit of a subversion in that it isn't there in hopes of preventing future wars, which is very much against Sith nature, but is instead glorifying it.
- In one episode of Family Guy, Mayor West commissions a war memorial to honor Quahog soldiers who perished in the Gulf Conflict. Unfortunately he chooses a solid gold statue of Dig 'em the Sugar Smacks mascot, which is completely inappropriate and drains the town's coffers, leading to protests calling for his resignation.
- Parodied in The Simpsons episode Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade. When Bart and Lisa go missing during a field trip, Groundskeeper Willie tearfully chisels their names on the school's Field Trip Memorial: "Ach. Why is it always the kids with the long names?"
- In Star Wars: The Clone Wars there's a huge monument made out of a rock transported there from Geonosis, in front of the Republic Military HQ on Corruscant, that lists the numbers/names of the clone troopers who perished in the war. It also has giant statues of clone troopers in full armor standing in attention at each corner.