Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial

The Medal of Honor is the highest and most respected wartime award that can be given to a member of the United States Armed Forces. It is also frequently called the Congressional Medal of Honor.

There are actually different medals of honor for each branch of the United States Armed Forces, all in the basic five-pointed star shape. It represents outstanding recognition to “the bravest of the brave.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial is on everybody’s list of things to do in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is a living manifestation of the lofty nature of the medal itself. It dates from May 28, 1999, an auspicious day, since it was the last Memorial Day weekend in the 20th Century. It is situated next to Military Park in the downtown Indianapolis district, and resides inside the beautiful Canal and White River State Park.

This is a highly appropriate site for such an important monument. Indy has celebrated Independence Day there since 1822, and history tells us that before then the site was a military recruitment and training camp. The memorial records information about MOH winners through some 15 conflicts, from Somalia way back to the Civil War.

The structure of the memorial is artistic, rather than prosaic, utilizing 27 blue-green glass walls of between seven and ten feet in height, all set, free-standing, into the foundation, all curves. These curved glass walls have been placed in such a manner that none is parallel, and some curve inward, some outward. The path through the Memorial is likewise curved, and the whole structure is duplicated by its calm reflection in the canal that borders it. The effect is one of movement and energy, one, in fact, of life. The extraordinary design is also quite fitting, since many of the Medals were awarded posthumously, to those who died securing other Americans’ right to better lives.

The names of all 3,436 MOH holders are permanently etched into the blue-green glass, along with some information about each individual. Every day at dusk, a 30-minute recording is played for all who care to experience it. The recording recounts the stories of the Medal of Honor recipients, mostly recorded by the actual person the story is about.

The energy-based Indianapolis company known as IPALCO, spearheaded by its chairman John Hodowal and his wife Caroline, are responsible for the existence of this stunning and moving memorial, built to provide enduring honor to MOH recipients.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial
650 W. Washington St.
White River State Park, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: (317) 261-6646

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