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Memorial Plaques: Know Your Audience

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Receiving a military plaque or award can be a very special event.  One type of military honor is not desired, though.  No one wants to receive a memorial plaque that honors a fallen soldier.

The Purpose of a Memorial

All soldiers are heroes, but dying in the line of duty is the ultimate sacrifice.  One plaque or memorial will never make up for the life that was lost, but it can be a nice gesture.  A plaque or memorial lets the family know that the soldier was appreciated and honored.  A public memorial can educate the public about fallen heroes.  A memorial and/or a plaque allows others to pay tribute to the soldier's life and honor his or her service.

Memorials may be public and take the form of a statue, monument or garden with a descriptive plaque.  Memorials may be personal and take the form of a smaller, transferable plaque that can be hung on a wall or placed on display in a home. 

Know your Audience

If you are put in charge of creating a memorial plaque for a fallen soldier, you may be very nervous about how to word it perfectly.  Due to the sensitive nature of memorial plaques, you must know your audience.  A plaque for a family member will look different than a plaque that will accompany a statue or a physical memorial. 

  • Public Memorials. If you're creating a plaque that will accompany a type of public memorial, you may want to include a short bio of the soldier's life and career.  You can list their honors and awards that they obtained during their military career.  A description of the battle or incident that took their life helps paint a picture for the public.  These types of memorials are typically larger than what you'd present a family member with and can fit more words. 
  • Family Plaques. If you are creating a plaque that will be presented to the family, you will want something more personal.  These plaques often have a picture of the soldier in his military uniform.  You may want to include a loving and meaningful epitaph or a relevant quote.  You may even inscribe a funny inside joke or anecdote about the soldier that will help capture his or her personality.  There is not much room on these smaller wall plaques, so words need to be chosen wisely. 

Creating memorial plaques is a challenging, yet rewarding task that honors those that have passed too soon.  If you are put in charge of this task, keep your audience in mind when creating your product. If you're looking for a business that specializes in military awards and plaques, visit Hometown Awards.