Today is Memorial Day here in the United States. It's a federal holiday, so the offices of Certification Magazine are closed until Tuesday. Memorial Day honors the American citizens, both men and women, who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is spiritually akin to Veteran's Day (Nov. 11), which honors all Armed Forces veterans, including those who did not die while serving.
We'll return to our regular schedule of operations tomorrow. Until then, why not enjoy this Memorial Day-themed quiz about famous memorials in the world?
1) Which American president's final resting place has become the object of a silly riddle?
2) Which memorial is located farthest from the site of any regular human habitation?
3) Which memorial is the tallest stone structure in the world?
4) Which memorial is the tallest masonry column (i.e., constructed of bricks and concrete, as opposed to finished stone) in the world?
5) Which ancient memorial ranked as the tallest man-made structure in the world for nearly four millennia?
6) Which ancient memorial served as the inspiration for Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe?
7) Which American presidential monument required the drafting of six bills before finally receiving congressional approval in 1910?
8) Which memorial to a 17th-century Persian princess was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983?
9) Which memorial is the most visited tourist destination in Israel after the Western Wall?
10) Which floating U.S. memorial is constructed over the remains of a sunken vessel?
1) Ulysses S. Grant. General Grant National Memorial in New York City, informally known as Grant's Tomb, has been immortalized in the gotcha riddle, "Who is buried at Grant's Tomb?" Technically, of course, no one is buried there, although Grant and his wife are interred within the tomb itself.
2) Fallen Astronaut. The Fallen Astronaut memorial, which records the names of eight American astronauts and six Soviet cosmonauts to die in the furthering of space exploration, was placed in a valley of the Mons Hadley on the surface of the moon. The monument was left there on Aug. 1, 1971, by Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin.
3) The Washington Monument. Located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Washington Monument memorializes the life and accomplishments of George Washington, America's first president and the key military commander of the American Revolution. The monument is 555 feet tall, made of marble, granite and gneiss.
4) The San Jacinto Monument. Dedicated on April 21, 1939, the monument stands in Harris County, Texas, near Houston, and commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto waged by General Sam Houston against General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna on April 21, 1836. The monument is 567 feet tall, including a 34-foot star at the very top, and weighs approximately 70 million pounds.
5) The Great Pyramid of Giza. Also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, and the Pyramid of Cheops, the Great Pyramid was built over a 10-to-20-year period that ended sometime around 2,560 B.C. At a height of 455 feet, the Great Pyramid is generally believed to have been constructed to be the final resting place of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu.
6) The Arch of Titus. Commissioned by the Roman emperor Domitian in about A.D. 82, the Arch of Titus commemorates the imperial service and conquests of Domitian's elder brother (and immediate predecessor as emperor), Titus. The 50-foot-tall stone arch still stands in Rome, despite the separate (and successive) fifth-century sacks of the city by the Goths and Vandals.
7) The Lincoln Memorial. Though first approved in 1867, two years after Lincoln's Death, the memorial project ultimately stalled and remained dormant for nearly 40 years. It was resurrected at the urging of Sen. Shelby M. Cullom of Illinois, who drafted six successive bills to push the project forward, the first five of which were defeated by Rep. Joseph Cannon, also of Illinois, who was then serving as Speaker of the House.
8) The Taj Mahal. Commissioned in 1631 and completed over an ensuing 12-year period, the Taj Mahal houses the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, favorite wife of the ruler Shah Jahan of the Mughal Empire. The total cost of the construction of the Taj Mahal was estimated in 2015 to be the equivalent of $827 million (U.S.).
9) Yad Vashem. The official Israeli memorial to victims of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem stands on the western slope of the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem. Established in 1953, Yad Vashem incorporates several buildings, sculptures, and memorial gardens and receives more than 1 million visitors every year.
10) The USS Arizona Memorial. Located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, and accessible only by boat, the memorial is anchored above, but does not actually touch, the sunken wreck of the USS Arizona, a Pennsylvania-class "super dreadnought" battleship. When the Arizona sank during the Japanese bombing attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, 1,177 officers and crewmen lost their lives.