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Image by Scott Rodgerson



An upright memorial, a stone structure (or statue) erected to keep the memory of someone or something alive. A monument can also be used as a tribute to someone or something. It has also been referred to as a headstone, tombstone, or gravestone.

The word monument comes to us from a Latin root word that means "remind." This is very fitting because the main reason for putting up a monument is to remind us of a loved one who has passed.

The definition of the word monument we are referring to here is a structure used to mark a grave in a cemetery. It would normally be placed at the head of a grave. It can also be used to mark a family plot. In this case, it would be placed in the center of the plot and would display the family name as well as the family member's names and dates.

A monument has two or more parts, usually two - a base and a tablet. The base is the slab of stone used as a support. The tablet is the stone on top of the base. There are other memorial structures that some people call monuments as well. Slant markers, bevel markers and flat markers are often grouped under the heading of monuments but those in the memorial business consider the word "monument" to mean a memorial with two or more parts.

There are single and double upright monuments. The single would be for one person. The double would be for two people, a husband and wife for instance.

A monument can come in many types and styles. There are different sizes, shapes, finishes, and colors. They may display statues, crosses or flowers for example. Most professional monument companies can create almost any design and engrave almost any inscription. The designs and inscriptions are limited by the size of the monument. Hearts, angels, crosses, and Jesus are some of the more popular designs. Most monuments in cemeteries are made of granite. Granite is one of the hardest stones known to man. Monuments can also be made of marble or bronze. They are very durable materials as well.

Prices of monuments vary. They can cost anywhere from $500 up to $2000-$3000 (and more) for a single upright monument depending on the stone quality and workmanship required.

Carved in stone or cast in bronze, a monument is something you will remember forever.

You now have a fairly clear answer to the question "What is a monument?" If you need a monument or have any other questions about monuments and you live in the greater Philadelphia area (or South New Jersey) contact one of our Monuments of Distinction locations. We'll be glad to help.

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