When it comes to honoring veterans, no other state in the country has more memorials and monuments designed for this important task than Indiana – besides our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. With Memorial Day weekend coming up, it’s important to remember the true meaning of this special holiday, which is a day to honor and remember those who have fallen while serving our country. Visiting Indianapolis war memorials is a perfect way to commemorate veterans this weekend, or any time of the year.
Visit These Popular Indianapolis War Memorials
Memorial Day weekend is always busy around Indianapolis. Residents and visitors from all over flock to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500, plus there’s a parade, services for honoring fallen veterans and so much more. If you’re going to be in the Downtown area this weekend, expect some crowds! But, don’t let that deter you from visiting these popular Indianapolis war memorials as a special way to honor our veterans.
Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Probably the most iconic war memorial in Indianapolis is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which was completed in 1901 and stands 284 feet tall. The structure was designed by Bruno Schmitz as a means to honor Hoosier soldiers from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War and the War of 1812.
American Legion Mall
Stretched between two city blocks, the American Legion Mall is headquarters to both the National American Legion and the American Legion’s Department of Indiana. Cenotaph Square on the north side is an empty soldier’s tomb honoring the hallowed memory of the dead who served in the World Wars.
USS Indianapolis Memorial
During World War II, the USS Indianapolis was the last ship to sink, and only 317 out of the 1,200 soldiers on board survived. This Indianapolis war memorial was designed by Joseph Fischer as a way to recognize and honor those who died on that ship.
Korean and Vietnam War Memorials
Located on the American Legion Mall, the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials were both dedicated in 1996 to commemorate the Indiana service men and women who lost their lives in both wars. The cylindrical structure features 923 names from the Korean War, and 1,624 from the Vietnam War, plus etched excerpts of letters that soldiers sent home while serving.
Veteran’s Memorial Plaza
This 100-foot tall, black Berwick granite Obelisk honors all Indiana Veterans. It’s centrally-located within the seven-block war memorial district, and was erected in 1930. The Obelisk is surrounded by a 100-foot diameter fountain and also features the flags from all 50 states.
Indiana World War Memorial and Museum
Honoring the men and women who were killed in World War I, this memorial also hosts the Military Museum inside, which honors those who fell or were missing in action in Vietnam. The largest bronze casting sculpture ever made in the country, Pro Patina, sits on the south side of the building, and inside you’ll find an art deco lobby, a theater, and the Shrine Room on the top floor.
World War II Memorial
This Indianapolis war memorial is located on the south side of the American Legion Mall, and looks similar to the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials. However, it’s a half-circle design that is much larger than the other to reflect the size and impact of World War II. The history of the war is etched into the convex side, while the concave side features letters from Indiana World War II veterans and the operations completed during the war.
University Park land was designated for a state university, but when that never came to fruition, funds were raised following the Civil War to turn the land into a park. The park now features the Depew Fountain, sculptures of President Benjamin Harrison, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and Schuyler Colfax.
Dedicated September 11, 2014, the 9/11 Memorial is made from two 11,000 pound beams from the World Trade Center towers. A pair of six-foot granite walls stand behind the beams, inscribed with remembrances from the events in New York City that day.
American Senior Communities would like to take a moment to honor and remember all those who have fallen while serving our country. May everyone have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!