Rememeber Me, My Argumentive Essay

Remember Me.

Memorials are an integral element of our society and culture that commemorates those who or when deserve to be recognized and to preserve historical memories. As the viewer, it’s important to come across these memorials and discover what makes them successful ,like how it makes us feel and how it impacts our society. Therefore, effective memorials encompass historical context, emotional resonance, its community engagement, and architectural symbolism, all are aspects of an impactful memorial.

Memorials have been with us since the ancient civilizations.They were famous for their stone or earth sourced monuments commemorating gods, symbolism, rulers, and victories in battles. In this case monuments and memorials are no stranger to us. Some of the most recognized monuments in the world are well known for reflecting the social and cultural dynamics of the time period being represented like the Great pyramids of Giza in Egypt were built as royal tombs for the three different pharaohs and the pyramid concept holds that these pharaohs could reach the heavens above them (Britannia 3). The northernmost and oldest pyramid also known as the Great Pyramid, the largest out of the three,was built for himself by Khufu the second king of the 4th dynasty. The middle pyramid was built for Khafre the forty of the eight kinds of the 4th dynasty and lastly the southernmost pyramid was built for Menkaure the fifth king of the dynasty. It’s been debated and discussed about the true purpose of designing these pyramids and their locations.In which have opened the doors to many scholars who were provoked to question and acknowledge that and their knowledge of world history. It is no doubt that these pyramids, with their architectural grandeur and historical significance on Egypts cultural and religious beliefs, continue to showcase the mastery of ancient architecture and their unique values.

Moving forward in history, a public memorial that is utilized as a reflection can also become an aid in healing and an enduring symbol for love, primarily like the Taj Mahal in India. The Taj Mahal, a mausoleum,  was built to commemorate the death of Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth in 1631 and had a heartwarming impact on her community (Forrest 1).Now many lovers, honeymooners, and couples visit this structure to relish the expression of love and grace of this beautiful structure. Beyond its architectural magnificence, the Taj mahal embodies the emotional depth of a personal tribute, becoming a universal symbol for love and beauty. 

In contrast, a historical public memorial that ensures relevance and timeliness despite how much history has persisted, is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park In Japan. This structural reminder of the tragic event that killed tens of thousands of people was built to symbolize the cost of war and the importance of peace. On August 6th in 1945 during World War II an American B-29 bomber dropped the world’s first deployed atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion immediately killed an estimated 80,000 people; tens of thousands more would later die of radiation exposure. Three days later, a second B-29 dropped another A-bomb on Nagasaki, killing an estimated 40,000 people. Japan’s Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s unconditional surrender in World War II in a radio address on August 15, citing the devastating power of “a new and most cruel bomb.” The structure at the memorial park contains a cenotaph of Atomic Bomb Victims, and other memorials, monuments and buildings (Japan Travel 2 ). Many victims from the event continue to spread their stories and educate others about the history behind Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The memorial park serves as a poignant reminder of the devastating impact of nuclear weapons.

These memorials underscore the multifaceted nature of commemoration, for love, peace, and prosperity. The effectiveness of these memorials are due to the fact it’s highly appealing to the eye with its architectural mastery. As well as touching the soul with its historical significance and emotional resonance. 

While these monuments perfectly represent the essence of a point in time, others struggle to deliver the right message and the same impact the previous monuments have made on our society today. In Curbed, a blogger named Diana Budds begs to question “How do we create an RBG Memorial That isn’t terrible?” When it came time to build a monument for RBG, Justice Ruth Rader Bader Ginsburg, Governor Cuomo announced to build a monument for her in Brooklyn, her birthplace (Budds 3). Ruth Bader Ginsburg preserved through challenges around her life, including gender discrimination and barriers to her professional advancement. Her journey in advocating for gender equality culminated in her appointment as a supreme court justice, where she notably played a unifying role within the court’s liberal faction. Budds argues that a statue is an inappropriate way to honor RBG because it didn’t align with her prowess. While there are other ways to construct the ideal monument for her, statues are often stigmatized because of its lack of authenticity and aesthetics. Budds also critiques that governor Cuomo shouldn’t be the one to decide whether where or what should be the monument to RBG. So rather than governors deciding, artists and communities who are well known for their work and effective in what they do should decide. Somebody who ,Budds credits is named Mabel Wilson, a historian and architect who worked on the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA and other monuments claimed “Memorials are most effective when they’re organic processes in which communities come to legislative bodies and say ‘We want to remember’. In other words, the spirit in which stems from the core of these processes are what manifest true and genuine memorials which has a great influence on conducting an impactful monument. 

This leaves off to consider how do you create a deeper meaning in a memorial? According to Art Historian Simon Schama, who analyzed the site of the 911 Memorial, the structures of the fountains are a metaphor for the falling of the towers and people, reflecting on absence. As Schama calls them “The Basins of Grief”, ultimately creating a “poetic communion”( Simon Schama 1:11). In this sense, memorials are meant to convey a message that is meant to be found not seen. Simply witnessing a monument isn’t enough to fully understand the concept and meaning of the entire monument. 

As for conducting a mural to represent the Palestinians whose lives were lost, I can assure it will create an emotional response . The conflict between Palestine and Israel has been an ongoing issue for decades and has already been declared as a part of our world’s history, and deserves to be respected and recognized through artistic expression. We utilized a graduate student, Al Shaina Akhram Saidam, to be the face of showcasing the dreams and hopes for all of Palestinian ambitious people. The mural will have an illusion that gives a plot twisting impression to mirror the sudden change in attitudes that fell when Palestinians realized they were on the brink of dying.  This impression is through the murals art containing Saidam holding her diploma, then visitors are given the opportunity to take a step close to see the names of the people that died from the genocide. 

Ultimately, the key to producing an impactful, successful, and memorable memorial is to display elements that make the viewer feel like they are reexperiencing the same experience that took place. I say this because empathy is the most powerful emotion a person can have, it’s the root of all human connection. With empathy there is proof of  humanity. Whether it’s the great pyramid of giza, it will make somebody feel proud and powerful just as it was built. Or whether it is the Memorial Park in Hiroshima, it will make somebody feel depressed just as depressing the event was. All these memorials create memories in your mind for your heart to remember.