Follow TV Tropes


War Memorial

Go To
Half the universe snapped out of existence in a moment. The other half unable— unwilling— to move on.
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.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & 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.
  • Tekkadan from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans had a memorial dedicated to those had died in Season 1. By the end of Season 2, more names were etched on the stone, including most of the main characters such as Mikazuki. Ride is the only Tekkadan member who visits it.
  • 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.
  • Very early on in Naruto, Kakashi tells Squad 7 about a rather unassuming stone. The very naïve Naruto thinks that being labeled "MIA" is pretty cool, until Kakashi tells him that the stone honors ninja who have gone missing in action in battle.
  • A giant monument with the names of the victims from the alien attack on City A is shown right as the credits role for the final episode of the first season of One-Punch Man.
  • Sonoko visits one in the second season of Yuki Yuna is a Hero. The memorial is dedicated to past mikos and Heroes. She goes to see the grave of her friend Gin who died a few years ago in a battle against the Vertexes. Sonoko makes food: one for Gin, one for food, and one that she can't remember why she made. She subconsciously made it for Togo, but she can't remember Togo anymore. The visit triggers her memories of Togo.

    Comic Books 
  • The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Necroworld, home of the supposedly mythical Necrobot, is dedicated to every dead Cybertronian. Around each statue are flowers representing every Cybertronian killed by the subject. Bumblebee has a small field. Megatron's stretch across the horizon. The Necrobot also keeps a monolith dedicated to every Cybertronian whose corpse he was unable to find, the "Disappeared", with their names inscribed.
  • Transformers (2019): The Memorial Crater, the sight of the final battle of the War of the Threefold Spark. Cyclonus maintains a vigil over it, and gets extremely pissed when it's blown up.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): There is a memorial garden with a number of statues and large stones with the names of those who have died keeping the monstrosities behind Dooms Doorway contained on Themyscira.
  • In the noughties revival of The VCs, a future war strip in 2000 AD, the main characters attend a memorial service for one of their fallen troopers at Arlington, which has expanded so much that it's now a maze, as opposed to a wall.

    Fan Works 
  • Lelouch in Darwin has a plaque in his headquarters upon which is engraved the names of every member of Fulcrum who died in his service.
  • 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.
  • Rocketship Voyager. Reference is made to the Manhattan Memorial Crater, a legacy of World War III. Even schoolchildren are taken to see it (behind several inches of leaded glass) to be lectured on the evils of global warfare.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Avengers: Endgame: There's a massive memorial to the half of the population that were Snapped away in San Francisco. Presumably, there are similar monuments in major cities all around the world. After spending five years trapped in the Quantum Realm, Scott Lang frantically searches through the memorial to make sure his daughter Cassie is still alive, only to find his own name mistakenly listed.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a memorial to those lost in Zod's attack has been erected in Metropolis. The memorial also has a large statue of Superman, something that's very controversial In-Universe, since many feel he is responsible for the devastation. During the film, it gets vandalised by Wallace O'Keefe, a man crippled during the attack, who paints "False God" on the statue of Superman, and the whole monument gets destroyed by Doomsday.
    • In Zack Snyder's Justice League, Lois Lane mourns Clark/Superman everyday at the remains of the monument, which ends up being the site of a battle between a confused resurrected Superman and the nascent Justice League, getting wrecked further in the struggle.
  • Father & Soldier is set during World War I and ends with a view of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris. The film suggests that one of the protagonists, who is from Africa, is in fact the unknown soldier.
  • 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.
  • Saving Private Ryan is bookended with scenes of an elderly Ryan visiting the American Cemetery in Normandy.

  • 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.
  • In Crest of the Stars, the Abh monument listing the names of every single person to have died in the line of duty to the Empire is considered of equal cultural importance to the crown jewels. When an act of treachery leaves the capital vulnerable to attack, Lafiel and Jinto are tasked with removing all the cenotaphs from the monument and evacuating them to the new, temporary capital.
  • 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.
  • One of the later books in Steve Perry's Matador Series (Black Steel?) describes a memorial to the recently-concluded Confed civil war which randomly displays holographic images of the casualties - which are numbered in the billions.
  • Memorial by Theodore Sturgeon. A scientist plans to detonate nuclear material to create a permanently radioactive crater that will deter Mankind from atomic war. He succeeds too well when an attempt by the authorities to seize the material causes it to accidentally achieve critical mass and detonate, triggering a nuclear war and creating a memorial of a different kind.
  • In the first Quiller novel, he visits a Jewish school that the principal informs him is built over the remains of a concentration camp that had been destroyed by the Nazis in an attempt to hide what went on there. "So we built this monument to our dead. We thought it was better than a stone on a plaque."
  • Rivers of London: After the battle of Ettersburg, Nightingale, the last remaining english wizard who is not gravely injured or broken after the war, carves all the names of the fallen wizards into a wooden wall of their former school.
  • 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.
  • The villages in the Village Tales series have them, as well as numerous memorials in the parish churches (some of which memorials date back to the 13th Century or before). And as the title of the first book in the series, Cross And Poppy, makes blatantly clear, the history they represent turns up all the time in the lives of those descended from The Glorious Dead. Particularly on Remembrance Sunday, when the names of The Fallen are remembered by those now bearing those very names.
  • In the Warrior Cats book Crowfeather's Trial, WindClan does the feline equivalent of this by making a cairn to honor those who had died in the battle against the Dark Forest, with each stone representing a specific warrior who gave up their life to save the Clans. The book begins with them adding the last stone to the pile to represent Crowfeather's mother Ashfoot.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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."
  • Several episodes of NCIS include scenes with veterans visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
  • The aptly titled episode "Memorial" in Star Trek: Voyager showed an interesting twist. The memorial was programmed to upload memories to 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 what would happen if they approached, but also recharged the memorial's power cells and left it active so that no one would forget what happened there.


    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fallout 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, a nearby soldier whose brother died there will get angry at you for disrespecting the dead.
  • Horizon Forbidden West: Upon returning to Meridian, Aloy can find a memorial to those who fell in the Final Battle of Horizon Zero Dawn.
  • Mass Effect:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • World of Warcraft: In Dalaran, there's a memorial to all those who fell to the Scourge during the war against the Lich King.
  • 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).
    • The sequel expands it slightly: the memorial is now in the bar, and includes pictures of each soldier, as well as how many missions they were on, how many kills they tallied, how they died and the name of the mission they died on.

  • Schlock Mercenary: In the defictionalized version of Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries, Karl Tagon tries to make tick marks for soldiers killed by friendly fire. After war breaks out and he is promoted to General, he notes that he personally has given orders that "would fill this page with ink," and resolves to "find a bigger page." That "page" becomes the Titan Wall, a massive monument of 4.5 thousand tons of titanium, covered in all the names of people killed by friendly fire. Karl had to misappropriate military funds to get it made.

    Western Animation 
  • 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 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?"
  • Parodied in the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode "Parth Ferengi's Heart Place", where it's revealed that Ferenginar has a memorial to the losses during the Dominion War. But since it was made by the Ferengi, it's for loss of profit, not loss of life.
    Mariner: Man, I gotta give it to you. Ferengi keep it on brand.
  • 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.