in Britain has one of these, as do
many larger companies
and organisations. War memorials were
erected around the country
after the end of World War I
(which was of course The War To End All Wars
) to commemorate
those who died in the conflict
and to give the relative
s of those whose
bodies were never found a focal point
to remember their loved ones
Most war memorials take the form of a simple obelisk and usually have
the names of all those who died in service engraved around their base.
Due to a failure to comprehend anything by world leaders, WWI
was not of course the final chapter in human warfare, so most war
memorials now have a second set of inscriptions, remembering those
who died between 1939 and 1945.
Whatever your thoughts on war, the war memorials are sobering places.
My home town had a population of less than 8,000 at the outbreak of the
First World War, yet the memorial contains 237 names: local men who went
off to Europe and never came back. It contains another 186 from the
Second World War.
Every year on Armistice Day there are commemorative ceremonies at each
war memorial, carried out by the British Legion, and poppy wreaths are
laid down. The biggest ceremony, usually attended by the Queen and
other VIPs is at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, central London,
which is the largest of the war memorials.
Postscript: I originally claimed that The Cenotaph was the British
equivalent of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, until spiregrain
jogged my memory and reminded me that there is an official
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey.