Why Memorials Matter: 6 Benefits of Honoring the Past

Young Boy Placing Flags on Veterans Grave-cm

Memorials are created to commemorate people, events, and ideas. Although there are plenty of memorials scattered throughout every city and town in the US, not many people take the time to consider the importance of these tributes. Understanding the value of memorials is crucial to preserving the historical events they memorialize. There are several benefits to honoring the past that impact everyone involved in a positive way.

1.  Honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Memorials that commemorate a historical conflict have the power to honor those who gave their lives in service of their country. The selfless men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the military deserve to have a formal display of appreciation and remembrance. It’s the least the public can do to show their lasting gratitude. Furthermore, memorials are a great way to show family members and friends of deceased veterans that their sacrifice is deeply appreciated.

2.  Remembering important historical events.

It’s easy to lose sight of the importance and impact of a historical event as there’s always something new on the horizon to capture the public’s attention, awareness, and concern. Memorials are a fantastic way to keep past events alive in public memory by putting them front and center. Whether people pass a memorial on the way to work, when walking through the park, or while vacationing in another state, they’ll immediately have the event behind memorialized front and center in their minds.

3.  Educating younger generations.

There’s an alarming lack of knowledge among the general public of United States history, especially when it comes to wars. These battles have played a crucial role in the trajectory of the country and still have reverberating consequences today. Memorials are an impactful reminder of these events and can facilitate the education of younger generations. As the old saying goes, those who understand history are less likely to repeat it.

4.  Maintaining a strong national identity.

National identity is all about how people feel about their country and their connection to it. Promoting national identity is crucial for fostering cohesion amongst the public, improving physical security, establishing a position on the global stage, demanding good governance, and so much more. Memorials help maintain a robust national identity by keeping the sacrifices of previous generations and the collective struggle of the country top of mind.

5.  Showing appreciation to veterans.

Some of the biggest challenges veterans face actually occur in their transition back to civilian life. It’s crucial that our service members understand that their selfless commitment is meaningful and appreciated. The public might be overwhelmingly thankful for the actions of veterans, but it doesn’t do any good to keep that gratitude inside. Memorials are an effective way to publicly display that appreciation to veterans so they can see their service was worthwhile and impactful.

6.  Helping in the grieving process.

Memorials can offer psychological benefits by assisting in the grieving process for those who have lost a loved one in war. Offering a permanent place for fallen veterans to be remembered, honored, and appreciated can help survivors through the healing process. Memorials offer a physical space for recognition, gratitude, and mourning that everyone can benefit from.

Why Vietnam memorials matter.

Every major war in US history deserves memorialization, but the Vietnam War has unique merits for remembrance. Despite being one of the more well-known wars, the American public is widely misinformed about the purpose, goals, and results of the conflict. This has led to unfortunate mischaracterizations. Memorials to the Vietnam War help to correct these misconceptions by accurately depicting this critical time in US history. Vietnam Veterans and their family members benefit directly by having a public display of appreciation for their sacrifices too.

The Oregon Vietnam Memorial is committed to remembering, honoring, and showing appreciation to those who served in the Vietnam War through the establishment of a memorial in Oregon. If you’re interested in learning more about the project and how you can donate to show your support, visit www.ocvvm.com