We all have occasions in our lives when we want to remember a special person, place, or moment in time. We want to pay tribute to a lost loved one, or mark a journey, or ensure that we never forget a day like 9/11. Tattoos have proven to be a popular medium for paying such a tribute, and it’s a practice with a long tradition behind it. Tattoos are striking visual reminders of memories that we seek to permanently preserve. They are the markers and milestones in our personal life histories.
At the turn of the 20th century, over 85% of American soldiers were tattooed in memory of fallen comrades, or in honour of their ships or regiments. In fact, some anthropologists postulate that the origin of tattooing can be linked directly to war. Soldiers returning from the battlefield were proud to show off their scars, so, it was only natural that the marks would be embellished to provide further meaning, grief not the least of which. It’s no surprise that these ‘R.I.P.’ tattoos hold deeper meaning than other designs and symbols.