Throughout the past four weeks we have been discussing the memorials of the Civil War and the impact they have had on the memory of the Civil War. I have been wondering throughout this if other nations commemorate their soldiers in a similar fashion to that of the Southerners and the rhetoric they use to remember a terrible event. In doing a Google search, I found there are some memorials and museums in Europe, particularly pertaining to World War II and the Holocaust, but there doesn’t seem to be the vast number of memorials as there are in the United States about the Civil War. In doing my Google search, I found a new article sharing the dedication of a memorial in London to World War II Bombers and the impact they had on the war.
There are several memorials in Britain to commemorate the soldiers who fought during World War II, but this is the first to commemorate the crews during the war because the air raids these crews carried out killed at least 300,000 German civilians and had completely destroyed many German cities. The Allies did not want to remember this shortly after discovering the horrors of the Holocaust.
Before the memorial was unveiled and dedicated, invitations were extended to the German government to send representatives to the dedication ceremony in an attempt to “broaden the theme of reconciliation.” The Germans, still obviously upset about the destruction the raids caused, were not even happy with the wording on the memorial: “This memorial also commemorated those of all nations who lost their lives in the bombing of 1939-1945.”
An attempt to reconcile with the wronged nation, sound familiar? Seems like memorials all over the world have the same goals in mind: commemorate our fallen soldiers, make us look as good as possible in a terrible event and don’t offend whoever it was you were fighting. The Civil War memorial all across the South in battle fields, cemeteries and town squares do the same thing. Most of the memorials do not mention the cause of the war, nor do they mention the numbers of civilian lives lost, they simply mention the lives of the soldiers. Seems to me, our friends across the pond have at least come a bit further with their war memorials being more inclusive than many of the memorials across the United States.
 John F. Burns, “British Memorial Honors World War II Bomber Crews,” The New York Times, June 28, 2012, under “Europe,” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/world/europe/britain-honors-world-war-ii-bomber-crews.html?_r=1 (accessed July 4, 2012).
 Burns, “British Memorial.”