History is the story of humanity written by the victors. Throughout the history of the human race, civilizations across the globe have been ravaged by the horrors and destruction of war. Hostile tension between nations boils over into full scale warfare, and brave souls along with innocent civilians are slaughtered by humanity’s increasingly efficient machines of war. The events have shaped the course of our progress, but have also resulted in unfathomable human tragedy.
Full scale wars conducted across the globe reached their fever pitch in the early half of the 20th century with two World Wars. Countries around the globe battled both with neighbors and across oceans in an attempt to achieve dominance for their respective ideologies. Following these incredibly costly ordeals, institutions such as the United Nations were created in order to prevent these massive conflicts from happening again. This has resulted in a trend of an overall decrease in the number of conflicts worldwide, but war continues to ravage many areas of the globe.
If there is one uplifting aspect of war, it is that it forces people to work together to reach a common goal. Once peace has been agreed between all parties, memorializing the lives of the fallen can take place. While humanity has an incredible ability to destroy, it also has the ability to leave lasting remembrances dedicated to the lost generations affected by war. These memorials continue to serve as a reminder to all of the horrors of war and the ultimate sacrifice given by so many.
12 National War Memorial - Ottawa, Canada
11 India Gate - New Delhi, India
10 Hiroshima Peace Memorial – Hiroshima, Japan
9 USS Arizona Memorial – Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, USA
8 Arc de Triomphe – Paris, France
7 ANZAC War Memorial – Sydney, Australia
6 Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – Berlin, Germany
5 Choeung Ek – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
4 Tjentiste War Memorial – Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Washington DC, USA
2 The Motherland Calls – Volgograd, Russia
1 Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme – Thiepval, France
Over one million soldiers perished during the multiple battles that made up the Battle of the Somme. French, British, and South African soldiers engaged forces from the German Empire in one of the largest stalemates in history. The Thiepval Memorial is dedicated to the 72,195 British and South African men who went missing in the multiple battles. The Sir Edward Lutyens design employs multiple interlocking arches of different sizes, and it remains the largest British battle memorial in the world. Sixteen stone laurel wreaths adorn the memorial to commemorate each of the individual battles that took place.
Sources: tompgalvin.com, weburbanist.com, stalingrad-battle.ru, stalingrad-battle.ru, necrometrics.com, www.nps.gov, thecanadianencyclopedia.ca, pcf.city.hiroshima.jp, whc.unesco.org, nps.gov, pearlharborhistoricsites.org, arcdetriompheparis.com, anzacmemorial.nsw.gov.au, lonelyplanet.com, cwgc.org, greatwar.co.uk
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