Building of Martin Luther King Jr., The King

Building a memorial or a
memorial goes way deeper than how it looks. A monument, through careful contemplation
of its location, size, material, and purpose, can adequately pay tribute to a
deep sacrifice or celebrate moments of great achievement. When building a memorial
or monument, one must think about how they are going to portray the life of a
loved one, a well-respected being, a special event, or a specific period of
time.

        There are so many things that have to be
thought about before actually building a memorial or a monument. For instance, when
someone begins to contemplate memorializing an event or person through a
monument, it is beneficial to take the time to think about where the monument
or memorial will be built. The setting can affect the overall emotional aspect
of the memorial; it can either take away from the deeper meaning of the
memorial or perhaps add to it. A memorial of Martin Luther King Jr., The King
Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Strolling through this beautiful building on
a nice summer afternoon makes one remember the important role Mr. King had in
American history. If his museum were located in an old run-down neighborhood, the
people would not consider his importance as beautiful and motivating. When thinking
of an appropriate way to memorialize the Holocaust, the people had to think
about what to include in the memorial such as the location, with the plans of a
Holocaust museum being built into a Mall in Washington, D.C. (Source E).         

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          Once a place has been decided, the
size and components needed for the monument must be agreed upon immediately.
The size of the monument or museum is very important. It is vital that the person
building the memorial thinks about how they are going to guarantee that the
person or event being memorialized, gets the respectable amount of honor that
they deserve. After the decision to build a Holocaust Museum in the Mall in
Washington, D.C. was made, protesters began considering that the design plan
was too huge (Source E). The whole objective of the museum was to remember the
Holocaust and the people who survived it, “not to overpower the Mall” (Source
E). By making the museum smaller, they were able to create a place of honor
without taking any attention away the other memorials in the Mall.

          The components used to construct a
memorial can also help support the right sense of significance. Marble and bronze statues, to
headstones and tombs, to walls and even chairs, have been incorporated in
memorials.  The use of water, mirrors, and other physical materials and
surfaces have also helped memorials to become places of reflection. Similarly,
the design of memorials, which sometimes includes a space set aside for family
members, serves to comfort the grieving as well as to educate others. When
designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Maya Lin put much
thought into what materials she wanted to use in the memorial. She chose “black
granite in order to make the surface reflective and peaceful” (Source G). The
mirroring effect of the Granite assisted in creating a world of reality and a
world of reflection. The material and size of a memorial can critically change
the feeling of respect and its effect on those paying tribute to an event or
person.

          Furthermore, when considering a
memorializing an event or person and in creating a monument, the message a
group or agency is trying to depict through the monument should be considered.
When designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Maya Lin decided to create a wall
of names cut into the ground. It was important to commemorate those who died in
                          Vietnam and she
felt the best way to remember everything about each individual person was
engraving their name into a wall. This allows people to remember everything
about the person rather that one instance, as a picture does (Source G). When creating
the monument for Crazy Horse, the sculptors decided to have him “pointing out
over his beloved Black Hills” (Source C). This commemorates the great achievements
Crazy Horse had in the Black Hills while portraying his love for them (Source
C). The message a monument exhibits is very important in the remembrance of
that person or event. When designing a monument to commemorate a person or
significant event, the location, size, material, and purpose of the monument
should be considered.