St. Catherine's Montessori

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The War Memorials of D.C.

by Pablo Canizales

The Korean War Memorial

     There's a man in the swamps of Korea, in the middle of the war.  He's scared, nervous and very cautious, for he is in the middle of nowhere.  His eyes show that he's slightly spacing out and going into his own world.  It seems like he feels like he's not actually there.  He's not interacting with his comrades around him, and he looks very tired.  He's a statue in the middle of Washington D.C., in one of the many famous war memorials.  At The Korean War Memorial there are a load of statues, and the statues there have so much detail and their faces have so much expression.These statues  are so special. These few statues represent all the 36,000 U.S. soldiers who died in Korea and the many more who served their country in the war.

     You could look at their faces and just imagine what it would have been like there. Their faces looked scared, which isn't surprising since they were in the middle of the swamps of Korea and could be killed any second.  Some faces also just looked nervous to be there.  The statues have army coats over them, and it was so cool and impactful. When I walked around that fenced off area and looked at the faces of the statues, it just changed a lot for me. I mean, you can't actually imagine all the misery they had to go through, but it gave me a deeper understanding.


The Vietnam War Memorial

     You're walking down a dark sidewalk, lit up only by a few lampposts.  You see a big long wall.  It's dark and you're unsure what the wall even is, but you keep on walking, and it’s unveiled to you.  It’s a big long wall with a lot of names, but not just random names—it's the names of people who died and were wounded in the Vietnam War, not all of them, but its pretty close.  There are 58,302 names on the wall.  The Vietnam War Memorial is a pretty heartbreaking place.  It's not really, really sad, but imagine if you knew someone who went to Vietnam, and you went to his memorial and found his name, I mean that would be very sad.  You just see how many people died, and it’s very sorrowful.  Some may think the memorial is kind of simple because it’s just a wall with names, but it's actually very special. The names. The names are so important. The Vietnam War Memorial isn't just a wall with names, it’s a landmark, a very outstanding one.  All the memorials are special, but to me, the war ones make a bigger impression on me.  You go and you either see a wall full of names of ones who have passed away, or you see statues, with so much expression it's like you're there.  They are all just so amazing.  The reason they are amazing to me is because they really make me aware of the things that have and are happening.

     When you go to a war memorial, you think about the war that happened.  In school, some of us have been studying international relations, so these memorials were perfect for us.  These war memorials have done so much for our country.  They make people aware of the things that are happening outside of our country.  These places are big places for our country, and people need to take it seriously when they are there.  When you go to these memorials, you can't just walk through them, take a quick look and leave.  You actually have to stay there for a while, and really take it in.  They don’t do much if you just walk by them and brush them off your shoulder because it's just a wall, or statues.  You have to pay attention, really feel the memorials going in you, and making an impact.