The Indianapolis Medal of Honor Memorial was unveiled and dedicated May 28, 1999 the last
Memorial Day weekend of the 20th Century. Site preparation began in
November 1998 and construction began in January 1999. Located on the north bank of the Central Canal in White
River State Park in Downtown Indianapolis, the site is adjacent to
Military Park. The city's first recorded Fourth of July celebration was
held there in 1822. During the Civil War it was a military camp used for
the recruitment and training of troops.
In June 1998, a New York Times reporter attended the annual meeting
of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society in upstate New York. He wrote
about its members and the courageous acts that earned them our nation's
highest award for military valor. Eight hundred miles away, John Hodowal,
chairman of the Indianapolis-based energy company IPALCO Enterprises, and
his wife, Caroline, read the article. They were so moved by the story that
they began thinking of ways to bring broader recognition to these
extraordinary individuals. They and the IPALCO staff began doing research
on these men and the lack of widespread awareness of their valor. While
conducting this research, IPALCO officials learned that no memorial had
ever been built to recognize the 3,436 Americans who had received the
Medal of Honor. As a result of this startling discovery, IPALCO decided
not only to bring the Medal of Honor recipients to Indianapolis, but also
to build them a memorial that would provide lasting recognition. The
memorial was dedicated with 96 Medal of Honor recipients present on
Memorial Day weekend, 1999.
The memorial is a group of 27 curved glass walls, each between 7
and 10 feet tall. The walls represent the 15 conflicts, dating back to the
Civil War, in which acts of bravery resulted in the awarding of the Medal
of Honor. Information about the 3,436
medal recipients are etched into the glass walls. Steps, benches and a
grassy area provide seating for visitors. Each day at dusk, a sound system
will play 30 minutes of recorded war stories about medal recipients and
their acts. As each story is told, lights illuminate a portion of the
memorial to highlight the war or conflict being discussed. Most of the
stories have been recorded by Medal of Honor recipients.
A concrete base, curved
blue/green plate glass panels, aluminum and stainless steel supports,
Indiana limestone in shades of buff, gray and pink.
landscape artists Eric Fulford and Ann Reed of ROAMworks, an Indianapolis
landscape design firm. The firm also is working on projects at the
Eiteljorg Museum and in Broad Ripple Village in Indianapolis.
IPALCO Enterprises, an
Indianapolis-based energy company, is proudly donating the Congressional
Medal of Honor Memorial to the country and each Medal of Honor
IPALCO Enterprises, Inc.
One Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Mailing Address: PO Box 1595, Indianapolis, IN 46204-1594