Certainly, there are many ways for people to memorialize things, but the question is always casted like why people want to remember those “old stuff”. Past events with groundbreaking results and public figures whose unprecedentedly provoking insights often educate the each later generation are always applauded by civilizations. From my stand, it is choosing the suitable location of site, selecting appropriate raw materials with enough financial support and making a sacred atmosphere to attract visitors that help society to create meaningful monuments.
History not only perfectly reflects the identity and civilization of a country but also inspires us to continue exploring our present based on the experience of our predecessors. Therefore, people build Mount Ruthmore (Source C), The Maine Lobsterman (Source F) to both show their respects toward these greatest minds in civilization and try to find out their own unique lifestyle under the forefather’s guidelines. In other words, human need to feel a sense of direction and protection which monuments can provide, regardless of whether the subjects they remember truly deserve the glory.
When people decide to use monuments as a means of memorializing, the first thing they consider about should be the location. Although appearance is not the most crucial determinants for the popularity of a monument, a beautiful and peaceful park where people fall in love at first sight can definitely elevate the meaning of the monument. Whether the monument fits the local culture well is indispensable for its reputation and success. For example, The Christopher Columbus Monument in Riverside Park, Easton, Pennsylvania (Source B) perfectly engross enchant visitors due to its tranquil environment and artistic surroundings.
People come to the monument will naturally recall the gigantic contributions Columbus has made to America. On the contrary, Holocaust Museum being built onto The Mall in Washington, D. C. (Source E) evokes fierce controversy, since people cast doubt about “why a museum dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust would be built in the United States, who did little to stop the Holocaust from occurring. ” In this case, even though the building was invested with huge amount of money and was decorated splendidly, no indigenes espouse the project and made the designer deeply embarrassed by public debates.
Once a location has been determined, the material and the expenditure for the monument should be planned. The reason why people come to monument is to remember and to analyze past events and therefore gain insights for handling current life problems, not to simply appreciate the lavish materials being used or the astonishing size of the monument. Overly focusing on size or material quality may not only distract visitors from what they are supposed to concentrate on but also provoke financial concerns. For instance, what protesters often make announcement against about for The Mail in Washington, D. C. is that the design plan was too large to be realized. The main purpose of the museum is meant to be a place of remembrance, not to “overpower The Mall or its visitors”.
Similarly, Savannah Memorial Park being used to burry thousands of San Gabriel Valley pioneers (Source D) is currently facing the embarrassment of having no money available for further development. The designer of the monument should always remember that grandiose materials or luxuriantly artificial creations can never make up for the deficiency of a central purpose which is respect and remembrance for a monument, let alone the matter of money.
Besides, the insight the builder trying to convey through the monument and whether human naturally tend to come to the place should be planned before implementing the project. It is undeniable that Lincoln Memorial built in Washington, D. C. (Source A) is one of the most prominent and influential celebrity memorials in United States. One of the crucial factors for its flourish is that the monument manufactures its own aura. Although the memorial itself contains no actual relic of Lincoln, people are appealed to the site for its “pure representation” and abundance of cultural atmosphere.
People get the idea about what they are looking for and what they are supposed to do here at the instance when they set feet in this place, and beyond dispute this is what the builder truly wants to see. Neither the extravagant ornament nor the flowers of rhetoric really help to maintain the long-term popularity and fame of a monument. It is people whose inherent tendency toward pilgrimage site that determine. When people start the plan of constructing a monument to memorialize a significant person or event, the location, costs and human’s affection should always be considered at the first place.
Courtney from Study Moose
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