Tears and a Smile

The old man stood there with tears rolling down his face. He never cried very much, but today, gazing at this monument, he couldn’t help himself.  He felt proud that he had served his country well, but so many of his friends had died at the hands of the enemy. The tears rolled down his face as his memory flashed before him of the awful day his brother had died.  He tried so hard to help him, but it happened so fast. The long days and heavy nights made him wonder if he would ever go home, but he also wondered if today would be the day he died. Every day was a day of fear and strength, a day of loss and sadness, a day of exhaustion and the nights were mostly restless. Too tired to sleep, too sad to cry and too homesick to breathe. Yet you just keep pressing on, until it is over. As he stands there looking at the unfinished monument on Calton Hill, he hears the laughter of those passing by and watches the families take their picture with what everyone calls “The Disgrace of Edinburgh” but for him, it was a place he could remember those he fought with and fought for, it was no disgrace, it resembles exactly how he feels. The National Monument of Scotland stands unfinished, yes, but for him it makes him stand proudly as many of his comrades died in that battle, so to him it represents, exactly how he feels. As he walks away and wipes his tears, he felt a smile come across his face, because he realized that this monument is his heart, it’s missing a few important pieces, but that is what makes it so beautiful..  It’s not a disgrace, it is the pride of Scotland.

This is a fictional story of what could have happened..

The National Monument of Scotland was constructed in memory of the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic Wars.  The inscription “A Memorial of the Past and Incentive to the Future of Heroism of the Men of Scotland”  It absolutely dominates the top of Calton Hill. it was designed in 1823-1826 by Charles Robert Cockerell and William Henry Playfair and is modeled upon the Parthenon in Athens. Construction began in 1826 and due to the lack of funds was left unfinished in 1829. This circumstance gave rise to various nicknames such as “Scotland’s Folly”, Edinburgh’s Disgrace”, “The Pride and Poverty of Scotland” and “Edinburgh’s Folly”

This beautiful Monument gives you a feeling of pride as you walk up the hill, it may be unfinished, but I believe that is the beauty of this great spot in history. 


The Napoleonic Wars were from 1803-1815, it was a 12 year battle that were a series of major global conflicts with the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against an array of European states in various coalitions. It produced a period of French domination over most of continental Europe. The wars stemmed from unresolved disputes from the French Revolution. 

The war of the First Coalition (1792-1797)  

The war of the Second Revolution (1798-1802)

The Third Coalition (1803-1806)

The Fourth Coalition (1806-1807)

The Fifth (1809)

The Sixth (1807-1814)

The French Invasion of Russia (1812) 


(Fact information was take from Wikipedia.org)