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Indy's Monuments & Memorials
Indianapolis devotes more acreage than any other U.S. city to honoring our nation’s fallen, and is second only to Washington, DC, in the number of war memorials. Spend 48 hours in Indianapolis, honoring our nation’s heroes.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument and Memorial is the heart and soul of Indianapolis. Originally built to hold the home of the governor’s mansion, post civil war it was decided to erect a monument to those who fought.The monument was completed in 1901 and measures 284 feet tall. The basement contains a Civil War Museum and the top is crowned with a statue of Victory.
The land was originally bought to be the home of DePauw University, but plans fell through. Following the Civil War, funds were raised to transform the land into a park. You’ll find sculptures of President Benjamin Harrison, Abraham Lincoln, Schuyler Colfax, and Ulysses S. Grant. Syrinx the wood nymph and Pan the satyr also call the park home.
The American Legion Mall stretches between two city blocks and is surrounded by the American Legion National headquarters and the headquarters for the American Legion’s Dept. of Indiana. In 1931, the Sunken Garden/Cenotaph Square was built to pay tribute to Hoosiers who have died in war. It also remembers the nation’s first casualty of World War I, James Bethal Gresham of Evansville, IN.
Centrally located in the seven-block war memorial district, Veteran's Memorial Plaza honors all Indiana veterans.
A feature of the American Legion Mall, the half-cylinder Korean and Vietnam memorials were dedicated in 1996. You may notice that the Vietnam piece is a little bit larger than the Korean. This is to show the relationship between the number of people killed or missing in action in the two wars. 1,525 men and women were killed in Vietnam and 927 were killed during the Korean War.
Designed as a half circle, the World War II Memorial is just shy of 20 feet wide, reflecting the size and scale of World War II Memorial. Designed with the intent to be similar to the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials, this monument is on the east side of the American Legion Mall.
Installed on the east bank of the Central Canal in 1995, the USS Indianapolis Memorial was designed by Joseph Fischer to recognize those who died on the last U.S. ship to sink in World War II.
Established in 2010 to honor those killed in 9/11 attack, the memorial consists of two 11,000-pound beams from the Twin Towers. Behind the beams stand a pair of six-foot tall black granite walls inscribed with remembrances of the events in New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The Indiana War Memorial Museum is a 30,000 square foot chronological museum that portrays American military history from the Revolutionary War to the present day, with special focus on Indiana's role in our nation's conflicts. The museum includes exhibits on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the Gulf War, the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, and various peacekeeping operations around the world. The IWM Museum is dedicated to commemorating the valor, achievements and sacrifices of American and Hoosier veterans, and to educating the public about the vital role Indiana and her citizens have played in America's military history. Admission is free.