Civic Monuments, Headstones & Memorials, Mausoleums, Military Headstones

Choosing and designing a burial monument

Photo of an angel statue in the sunlight

From the ancient days in Egypt when Pharaohs were entombed in the great pyramids, to the national cemeteries memorializing today’s veterans and historical figures, burial monuments have been and still are an important part of our memorial process. Though you may not be looking to install something as large and extravagant as a pyramid, there are many different options for memorializing your loved ones or a historical event. Here are some different types of burial monuments and tips for choosing the right one.

Estate monuments

These monuments are often large and can be extravagant. The monument can be an engraved granite slab, a statue, or a structure of some kind. They are used to memorialize the estate of both individuals and families and can be used as a beautiful way to join large extended families together. Often, the monument will be constructed in a large area, with headstones or smaller monuments indicating the resting places of individuals, couples or smaller family groups.

Family monuments and headstones

Family headstones are designed for groups of three or more people, allowing for each individual to have their own inscription or for one collective family inscription if desired. These burial monuments serve as a way to honor a family’s legacy and are representative of the strong bond that it holds in life.


Often referred to in ancient times as tombs or crypts, these are above-ground installments built to memorialize individuals or entire families. These can range from custom-built granite structures with engravings and inscriptions to entire buildings that can be entered to visit the burial chamber of a loved one or loved ones.

Civic monuments

Not all monuments are created for burial purposes. A civic monument can be erected to honor a group of people or an important historical event to be remembered. Empty tombs may also be erected in memorial of a person or people who are not buried on site.

Whatever your needs are for a burial monument, Columbia Memorial Gardens can be trusted to help you and your family choose the type of structure, design, and inscription that’s right for you.

For questions please call us at 703-527-7774.

2 thoughts on “Choosing and designing a burial monument

  1. My grandma recently passed away and my family is thinking of getting a monument for her grave that we help us remember her. You make a great point that monuments can serve a family’s legacy and represent our love for our grandma. Also, I think it is great that you can write and add whatever you want to the monument because my family wants to put all of the names of the children and grandchildren on the stone.

  2. Thank you for pointing out that family headstones are designed for groups of people. My grandmother just passed away and we need to get a headstone. Hopefully, we can find one that fits well with her life.

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