Monuments are historic structures and buildings constructed for the purpose of marking extraordinary event or heroes and heroines. Though the sole purpose is for remembrance of the heroic deeds, the monuments act as a beauty spot that defines a certain location. Monuments are always accompanied by a sweet feeling of appreciation, whereas memorial does the same thing but in an opposite direction. Memorial serves the purpose of marking the death of a person or substantial revolutionary event, and not necessarily in an appreciative way. Types of monuments include; church monument, statutes cenotaphs, mausoleums and temples. The memorial includes; war memorials, significant landmark objects or such as fountains, road side memorials and the gravestone. The beauty of monuments lies in the direction of the structure shape design and size. Memorials are primarily reliant on the message and deeds to fulfill the importance of the dead event or person.
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Memorials have been revolutionized by change in forms. As per now, the society has been technologically motivated to change the memorial form to an acceptable technology platform. This was made possible by the fact that memorials are reliant on the message of commemorating the death of special ones. That is the reason why most people will opt to use the press to commemorate and remind the society of the death of their loved, and the danger that befell them, and avoid it. (Parr, 2008).
An example of the memorials is the famous roadside memorial to commemorate a specific spot on the road that their loved ones died; maybe this is away from their original home. The memorial marks the last place the person was at before death. Memorials are maintained by the close relatives of the person that died, this may include the friends also or workmates. The most common type of memorial is a single bunch of a certain type of flowers. This can be real or plastic. The composition consists of a special message either of the dead person name or the result of his death. Other forms of memorial may include a cross or a plaque with artistic inscription. Roadside memorials are the most common and have been used for a number of generations. The origin of this type of memorial dates back to the Hispanic migration to United States. It consisted of the activities in a funerary procession. A group of certain people would process to the graveyard. On this trip, to the graveyard, they would take rests and place the coffin down. Whenever they took a rest they would mark it with a cross till they reached the graveyard. In the modern days, this is achieved through roadside shrines that the person died on the road.
Memorials are an excellent source of history that gives out warning to people. The rich warning they provide makes one realize that those certain disasters can actually happen to someone. In road side memorials, they encourage safe road use by both drivers and cyclists. Fatal hot-spots on the road are marked and inform the road users of the risk that the spot holds casualties. So far, the most common road-side memorial is that of princess of Wales, Diana at Pont De la Alma tunnel. The participation of people that lay flowers and wreaths at the site promoted enormously to the growth of popularity in roadside memorials. The display of multitudes in characterization of emotional loss of the princess is clear significance that memorials are changing their ancient form of private affairs to public ones.
Monument designs are made to appreciate the history of the society and political dynamics. The history may be based on the culture of the people and the level of their advancement technologically. In terms of level of advancement, it dates as far back as the Egyptian pyramids, Parthenon and the mosque of Koirouan. The mastery of the ancient technology to build such monument is so phenomenal and lays a tremendously positive platform for designing modern monuments. Recent monuments such as the statue of liberty play a significant role in influencing iconic perspective of the nation. The monument of this structure means a lot to the nation.
The church monument – the most common type of monuments
It comprises of sculptural work to the dead person who maybe was an active member of the church or played a vital role in shaping the church. The monument can be expressed in various forms such as a wall tablet to a large sculpture. The most common place for the monument is across or above the burial place of the person. At times, it maybe just a monument alone and the dead person buried elsewhere. This work is purely the work of funerary art. The funerary work is a good source of artistic work and the culture of the time. It ranges from the antique used. (Brandley, 1998).
The earliest and ancient form of church monuments were the ordinary coffin shaped graves. Monumental effigies were outlined in marble material and bronze or brass metals. To add beauty to these effigies, carefully and skilled painting was done to reflect life. Nowadays the painting though is not visible due to environmental factors. The monuments carried a lot of artistic message passing and symbolism. A single look at the monument would tell what the special person life was or what the person associated most with. Today these monuments are rare as they have either been stolen for commercial purposes or replaced with monuments of influential people or politicians.
Monuments and memorial are a rich source of history. This is because the information they hold can be passed from generation to generation without getting damaged due to their nature. Most of the monument and memorials use their presence to bring unity to people by what they symbolize. Their sculptural form should be respected and appreciated most for their beauty.