Admiral Raymond Spruance Memorial Basin
Admiral Raymond Spruance was a U.S. Navy officer most remembered for his successful tactics against the Japanese in the Battle of Midway, June 4 – 6, 1942. An Indianapolis native, the USS Indianapolis served as his flagship throughout World War II. A basin, located on the north end of the Downtown Central Canal near the USS Indianapolis Memorial, is dedicated to this Indianapolis Naval hero.
American Legion Mall
American Legion Mall, extending from St. Clair Street to North Street between Meridian and Pennsylvania, is home to the World War II, Korean and Vietnam Wars and the Cenotaph Memorials. The World War II Memorial, on the east side, is the first memorial to be shaped like a half-circle. The convex side tells a brief history of the war and pays special tribute to Hoosier Medal of Honor recipients anddistinguished Hoosier units. The opposite side features excerpts from letters sent home from the warfront and a timeline of events throughout the war. A database with the names of those Hoosiers killed in action is located next to the memorial.
The Korean and Vietnam Wars Memorial is located on the southern end of the mall. The two appear to be separate entities, but in actuality, they combine to become one memorial. They are two pieces of a whole cylinder, not equally split, however, because more soldiers were killed or missing in action (MIA) in the Vietnam War. Thus, that section is slightly larger. One side of the memorial features a map and letters sent home from soldiers. On the other side, visitors can find the names of Indiana veterans killed or MIA in both wars.
The Cenotaph Square Memorial is an empty soldier’s tomb honoring the hallowed memory of the dead who served in the World Wars.
Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum
Explore the lower level of Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and you will discover the Col. Eli Lilly Civil War Museum. Experience the Civil War in multiple aspects, from the front line to the effects back home in Indiana. Created in honor of Indiana citizens who lived, fought and died in the Civil War, this museum exhibits Civil War remnants, including artifacts, letters, personal diaries and more.
Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial
Located along the north end of the Canal in White River State Park is the Medal of Honor Memorial, recognizing 3,459 recipients of the nation’s highest military honor from 15 major wars and conflicts. The memorial is arranged by 27 curved glass walls between seven and 10 feet high. The memorial also has a sound system, which shares the story of a select few medal recipients each day.
This small garden tribute to the firefighters who lost their lives in the deadliest fire in Indianapolis history is located in front of Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery at 10 W. Washington St. In 1890, eighty-six firemen fought the Bowen-Merrill Company Stationary Two Bookstore fire, 13 of them losing their lives in the blaze.
Indiana Law Enforcement & Firefighters Memorial
Dedicated two days before the World Police and Fire Games in 2001, this memorial stands as a tribute to the more than 600 Indiana policemen and firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty. It is located east of the Indiana Government Center, and family members and co-workers continuously stop by to pay their respects to the memories of loved ones.
Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Located in the heart of Downtown on Monument Circle and recognized as one of the world’s most exceptional monuments, the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument stands as a symbol of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana. This 284-foot Indiana limestone memorial was dedicated in 1902 in honor of Indiana’s soldiers and sailors who served in the Civil and Spanish-American Wars. Various works of art surround the monument, including “War” and “Peace,” sculpted by Rudolf Schwarz. “Victory,” a 38-foot bronze statue weighing 19,300 pounds sits atop the Monument, facing south. For the first time in 118 years, Victory was removed from the Monument in late April 2011 for repairs - holes filled, joints re-welded and smoothed and surfaces treated and waxed to resist water. She was put back in place Sept. 12., in time for the annual Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 celebration.
Schwarz also designed “The Dying Soldier,” “The Homefront” and the four statues at the corners of the monument, representing the Infantry, Calvary, Artillery and Navy. To get to the top of the monument, take the elevator for $2 or walk to stairs for FREE to the observation level for a panoramic view of the city.
Monument Circle from Conrad Piccirillo on Vimeo.
Indiana War Memorial and Museum
This memorial, honoring those who fought in both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam, took 25 years to complete. One of the largest memorials in Indianapolis, it stands 210 feet tall. It occupies an entire city block of the War Memorial Plaza between Meridian and Pennsylvania Streets to the east and west and Michigan and Vermont streets to the north and south. The Indiana War Memorial is comprised of three floors. The Shrine Room, symbolizing peace and unity, resides on the upper level. On the main floor, visitors will find meeting spaces, the Pershing Auditorium and a list of all the names of all Hoosiers who fought in WWI and Hoosiers who were killed or MIA in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The museum located in the bottom of the memorial exhibits the history of Indiana’s veterans from the Battle of Tippecanoe to the war in Iraq.
Indiana War Memorial from Conrad Piccirillo on Vimeo.
Project 911 Indianapolis
Project 9/11 Indianapolis began in 2010 by Greg Hess, an Indianapolis firefighter/paramedic, as a grass roots effort to establish a permanent memorial dedicated to those killed on Sept. 11, 2001. The City of Indianapolis was granted possession of two 22-foot steel beams from the World Trade Center, which are the focal point of the Project. The memorial was dedicated Sept. 11, 2011 at 421 W. Ohio St. along the canal, next to Indianapolis Fire Department 13.
This is the oldest portion of the Indiana War Memorial Plaza, once the planned site of a university in 1821. With the plan never coming to fruition, the southwest corner of the park became home to the Marion County Seminary, the city's first high school and several churches – all located within the same building. The building was torn down in 1860 so the park could be a drilling ground for the Union troops. Following the war, the area was converted into a park, a 10-year process.
The centerpiece of the park is the Depew Fountain, dedicated to a physician from Indianapolis named Dr. Richard Johnson Depew. Designer Karl Bitter died before the fountain’s completion. Alexander Stirling Calder completed Bitter’s work.
U.S.S. Indianapolis Memorial
This memorial honors those individuals who died aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the last American ship to sink in World War II in 1945. The names of the ship’s company and one passenger who made up the final crew are engraved on the south side of the monument, the whole of which is shaped like the ship. Of the 1,200 sailors aboard, only 318 survived. Those who survived erected this monument on the north end of the Canal in honor of those who died so heroically.
Veterans’ Memorial Plaza
Veterans’ Memorial Plaza, located north of the Indiana War Memorial, was completed in 1930 as an honor to Hoosier veterans. In 1975, grassy areas were added and trees were planted, honoring the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence. On the north side of the Plaza wave the American flag and 50 flags representing each state. The 100-foot tall Obelisk fountain in the center of the park stands as a symbol of the hopes, strength and desires of this nation. Near the base of the Obelisk are representations of law, science, religion and education.
Veteran’s Memorial Plaza was reopened and rededicated after a year of full restoration. Among the maintenances were repaired brick pathways, new flowers planted in new flowerbeds, the planting of new trees and more. The flagpoles have also been repaired and broken into two sections.