Veteran war memorials are historical touchstones; tangible elements that help families of fallen soldiers face the future. They offer a place to grieve, teach our children, and instill great pride. Veteran memorials provide a focus for both loss and homage.They connect the past with the future and protect the memory of insurmountable sacrifice.
We’ve highlighted some of the large and/or unique war memorials, especially honoring veterans of foreign wars, throughout the Southern Conference states. This post (Part 1) covers war memorials in the first seven states, so visit Veterans Memorials in the Southern Conference State – Part 2 for North Carolina, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.
A traveling memorial
“We are not here to honor what happened to these Fallen Heroes, but to honor who they were, what they were doing, and what they had become and to thank them by forever remembering them for paying the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and rights that we have today… Honoring the fallen isn’t just the right thing to do. It is everyone’s responsibility.” -Rob Hopper
This traveling memorial is a flag field designed to honor all Arkansas citizens who died while serving on active duty since 9/11/2001.
Little Rock, AR
Located in downtown Little Rock, this memorial honors 461 Arkansans who were killed in the Korean War. Each of them are listed here in black granite surrounding impressive statues as a standing tribute to their sacrifice.
“A unique aspect of this Memorial is the fact that most of the money for the construction of the Memorial came from the Republic of Korea to honor the veterans that fought and died for their freedom.” (source)
Little Rock, AR
This memorial honoring Arkansans who served in the Vietnam War is also located in central Little Rock and is surrounded by quite a few other memorials and historic monuments.
Alabama boasts more volunteers than any other state in the country and the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park, helps remember each of them.
This impressive memorial pays homage to Alabama veterans from all military branches and includes the Battleship USS ALABAMA from WWII, a helicopter suspended in flight, a submarine (WWII), and an extensive air force collection.
The Battleship Park grounds also host a veteran-built Vietnam memorial, a Korean memorial, and more.
The black granite walls host the names of every military man/woman who sacrificed their lives in the wars of the 20th century, i.e., World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf. Alabama legislation recently deemed this as the official war memorial for Afghanistan and Iraq Alabama veterans, as well.
The Veterans Memorial Park is dedicated to the memories of those who have died in the service of Country both in times of war and in times of peace. A World War I, World War II, and Korean War memorial take center stage.
The Veterans Memorial Wall pays tribute to more than 1,500 Jacksonville area war heroes. It is the largest of its kind at 65 feet long and is the only wall that honors veterans from all 6 branches.
The Walk of Heroes Veterans War Memorial is a “visual and interactive” memorial that aids in public understanding of veteran sacrifice during and since the 20th century. Veteran families are also highlighted for their sacrifice that helped maintain the protection of American freedom.
This memorial includes the Wall of Tears, the Medal of Honor Fountain, and the League-Lowe Memorial. In 2011, a Twin Towers replica memorial to the fallen in 9/11/2001 was added along with a piece of iron from one of the towers.
The plaza of the Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial holds the names of the 1,103 Kentucky citizens who died in Vietnam. Each soldier’s name is located in an exact location so that the shadow of the large sundial will touch each veteran’s name on the anniversary of his death.
PeWee Valley, KY
This unopened park will boast a 33,000 square foot area providing historical information about wars and military actions where American’s died, as well as information about significant individuals in military history. The park will display large monuments illustrating or representing historical events.
New Orleans, LA
The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. –President Lincoln, first inaugural address