Have you ever been to your nation's capital? Have you ever gone to see the history, the grander, the visual proclamation that attempts to show the world what a country really is? It is one thing to pass through a capital city, by plane, train, bus or automobile, but entirely another to walk it, to stop and read the monuments, experience the history and really see the capital. It can be quite amazing, incredibly eye opening, and often heartbreaking or heartwarming to see just how far a country has, or has not, come. Some countries are obviously older than others, and with more history comes more water under the bridges, but even some younger countries can show you glimpses of its people, if only you look past the obvious knowns.
It is amazing to see some of the most famous or majestic landmarks in capital cities. They are often extravagant, sometimes internationally recognizable, and most definitely monumental. Taking an excursion through a capital city though can give you an opportunity to see some of the (sometimes) lesser famous monuments, dedications, or even cultural values a country has to offer. While all countries have areas in which they are, or should be, striving to be better in, these monumental reminders serve to do just that, remind the world of what they are striving for.
Everything from beautiful gardens, museums rich with history, art and statues on random corners, to inscriptions and memorial walls, all have their place to remind people where a country has been, and often where it is trying to go. Some are reminders of darker times, some are reminders of national values, but all are reminders of countries built (and defeated) by the people that do (and have) brought it to where it is today. If we can't look back at history, we can't learn from it.
The next opportunity you have, go explore your country's capital. Go explore other countries capitals. Open your eyes and see the wonder and awe that the country you are in has been through and where it is going through the lens of national monuments. Odds are you'll see some very interesting things and possibly learn something new!