The Unknown Solider Memorial

By: Rawan Elshiwy

Memorial: an object that provides a memory of something, usually for a deceased person(martyr) or a prominent event (war).

Memorials vary for their purposes, for example: gravestone or memorial plaque commemorate those who have died in the sake of saving humanity and defending their homelands in war.  

Online memorials  are HTML webpages generated on the internet where the family of the newly deceased give the name, a few words of tribute, or be a part of a social media page where users can add their own words and photos as well.

Another form of keeping the soul of the dead alive is requesting a memorial gift to charity or grow a tree in nature. These are called grassroots memorials.

Now, back to gravestone memorials, this monument is the most common globally. They are famous for their eye-catching ancient Roman designs and marble bases such as the unknown soldier memorial, also known as “Durrat Al-Mansheya”, located in Alexandria, Egypt, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The monument is considered as one of the well-known touristic sites in Egypt.

History goes back to Khedive Ismail, the former emperor of Egypt and Sudan, when the Italian foreigners constructed a statue in the sake of honoring and dedication to the Khedive. The statute remained at the peak for a long while, until President Gamal Abdel Nasser, only the second ruler after the government system altered, ordered the statue be transferred to The Museum of Fine Arts and for the memorial to be built under the supervision of the Navy.

The tradition of building memorials in the sake of unknown, holy soldiers goes back to European customs that some followed after the final of World War One(WW1) that caused approximately eight and a half million victims, in addition to seven million lost or wounded. The governments of Belgika, France, Britain, and Italy decided to establish relics in remembrance of the numerous lost or dead soldiers who’s corpses were unfound by placing their remains in tombs inside the memorials.