Indiana War Memorial
The Indiana War Memorial is part of a historic district that occupies several city blocks in downtown Indianapolis. The 24-acre (nine-hectare) Indiana War Memorial Plaza echoes the National Mall in Washington D.C., in both layout and national significance. The plaza was created in the early 19th century to honor the veterans of World War I and to house the headquarters of the American Legion. Today it also includes two museums, three parks, towering heroic monuments, and numerous sculptures and fountains.
Start your visit at the plaza’s centerpiece, the Indiana War Memorial, which was originally commissioned to commemorate those who died in World War I. It now also contains the names of Indiana residents who gave their lives in subsequent wars.
Military history enthusiasts will revel in the war museum on the memorial’s lower level. Browse through the collection of more than 400 military battle flags, over 300 of which are from the American Civil War. See how warfare has progressed with a timeline of weaponry dating from the Civil War to more modern times.
Climb the stairs to the memorial’s upper floor and visit the Shrine Room, which celebrates peace and unity. Twenty-four pillars made of red Vermont marble take your gaze up to the Star of Destiny. Created from Swedish crystal, this lighted star was designed to guide the nation, as symbolized by the enormous American flag hanging below it.
After visiting the Indiana War Memorial, check out some of the other monuments throughout the plaza. At the towering Soldiers and Sailors Monument, take the elevator, or climb the 331 stairs, to the observation level to enjoy a 360-degree view of the plaza and city beyond.
The Indiana War Memorial Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday and admission is free.