April 3, 2019 4:00 AM

Guide to Creating a Memorial | Top Veteran Memorials

A memorial is an established place or object that reminds people of a specific person or an event in history. Memorials can be seen in cemeteries, parks, city squares, and government buildings all over the world.

Do you want to create a memorial?

First off, what is a memorial exactly?

A memorial is an established place or object that reminds people of a specific person or an event in history. Memorials can be seen in cemeteries, parks, city squares, and government buildings all over the world.

In this guide, we will cover the basics of creating a memorial, what a memorial statue means, and what the top veteran memorials are.

Let’s get started!

What is a memorial statue?



One type of common memorial that is usually erected to honor a figure or event in history is a memorial statue. These statues can range from small to colossal in size and either represent likenesses of famous people and places or symbolize certain events.

What is the purpose of memorials and monuments?



Memorials serve the purpose of allowing families and tourists to both remember and pay their respects to the person or event being memorialized. They are also created to last for a long period of time so that the memory will carry on to future generations for many many years.

Do memorials impact the way we think about history?



Memorials certainly impact the way we think about history. It is one thing to learn about history and major events through books in school, but it is an entirely different thing to be reminded (perhaps in the very place you stand) what shaped a country into what it is today.

Memorials and monuments allow us to get an up close and personal view of history. It feels much more personal to see a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. rather than seeing the same statue in a book or on television. Through the power of words and art, memorials continue to tell the story in place of those who are being memorialized, so that we never forget and continue to make the world a better place.

Three common types of material that memorials are made of:

Three common types of material which memorial statues and monuments are made of include bronze, granite, and marble. Each of these elements offers their own unique colors and textures in order to create memorials that will stand the test of time.

Some of the most famous statues and monuments in the world are made out of one of these three materials. They are each easily distinguished from one another and in some cases, are used for specific purposes.


Bronze is known as being one of the three precious metals distributed in the Olympic games. Typically made from a mixture of copper and tin, it gives off a golden brown hue. Over a long period of time, and once it is introduced to the elements, bronze changes to a dark brown or black color with spots of green. Bronze earned its fame for being a popular metallic mix for statues in the Greek and Roman time period and is still used today in modern art and memorial construction. It is cast from wax and molded into the shape of statues usually depicting objects or humans.


Granite is a large and heavy stone, known best as countertop material. It is difficult to sculpt and chisel into statues, so it is primarily used for monuments. Granite comes in a variety of textures and colors such as speckled whites, grays, and silvers, but overall it is a dark-colored stone. The most common places granite is used is at memorial sites that commemorate the deceased, such as a fallen soldier’s gravesite, due to the somber colors it produces.


Marble is most famous for depicting human figures during ancient Greek and Roman times. Its smooth and buttery texture allows sculptor to create images with ease, without breakage or chipping. Marble comes in a variety of naturally occurring colors like green, pink, and gray, but the most common color is white marble. One place you can find a plethora of marble in Washington D.C. From buildings like the State Capitol, structures like the Washington Monument, or statues like the Peace Monument, marble was used to construct our the United State’s most significant memorials.

Most common questions asked when creating a memorial or monument:

When designing a memorial, there are a series of questions you need to consider before deciding on the finished product. These questions will guide you to a memorial designing process that will ensure the creation of the most honoring and beautiful design possible.

  • What or whom is the memorial for?
  • In what location will the memorial be placed?
  • What is the desired budget for the project?
  • What kind of piece?
  • Statue, headstone, monument, or bench.
  • What size (width, length, and depth) will the memorial be?
  • What material will the memorial be constructed out of?
  • Include metal or stone type and color.
  • Any decorative elements?
  • Small figurines, vases, intricate carvings, and lettering.


What are the Top Veteran memorials?

Praying for a Fallen Soldier:

This monument is a moving monument to observe. Dedicated in 2014 and located in front of a school in Kelliher, Minnesota, Praying For A Fallen Soldier is a hexagonally shaped monument made from bronze. On top resides a soldier, gun in hand and helmet aside. He is kneeling in prayer and mourning for the loss of his fallen comrades, symbolized by a pair of boots and another gun and helmet. The plack states that the memorial serves as a reminder of the lives lost during battle and keeps us remembering those who are currently serving in the armed forces.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bronze Statue:



One famous Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bronze Statue is The Three Soldiers. This statue can be found in the outdoor Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Three bronze, seven-foot soldiers stand atop a granite platform. These soldiers look towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, a granite wall which incorporates the name of every soldier who died serving in Vietnam. Construction for the memorial began in 1982 and is visited by millions of people each year.

Statue of Liberty:



In the fall of 1875, the country of France decided to gift America with a colossal, statue, as a commemoration of their allied friendship. The statue was placed on its own island in the middle of New York Harbor and stood to welcome hopeful immigrants after a long journey to the “Land of Opportunity.” The structure stands at 305 feet from base to torch. It is constructed out of an iron frame and covered with pure copper. Due to its age and exposure to the elements, the Statue of Liberty has taken on a green hue. The Statue is a popular tourist site (you can climb to the crown if you’d like) but most importantly symbolizes freedom and opportunity that is found only in the United States.

Marine Corps Memorial:


The Marine Corps Memorial is located in the Iwo Jima Memorial just outside of the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The statue, cast from bronze, depicts a photograph that was taken during World War II, in 1945, by the photographer Joe Rosenthal. Rosenthal managed to capture four marine men as they struggled to plant the American flag on Japanese soil. After the war ended, the statue was erected and dedicated in 1954 by President Eisenhower. Today, an American flag flies constantly and commemorates all branches of military lives that were lost in all wars.

Memorials play a significant role in history. They allow us to remember those who dedicated their lives to service and teach future generations valuable lessons about government, life, and humanity. Memorials also provide families with the gift of honor. Honor is a lost art among Americans today, and one of the few places it still exists is through commemorating memorials. If you are designing a memorial for a loved one, or someone important, remember to honor them in the best way possible. Think about who they were and how your memorial will reflect their character or service. When deciding on the material to use or type of monument to erect, think about how future generations and descendants will view the memorial, for memorials are made to last.

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