Shown above is the lighted Star of Destiny
hanging from the center of the Shrine Room in the
Indiana War Memorial. The Memorial forms the centerpiece
of the five-city-block Indiana War Memorial Plaza, and
was designed and constructed to commemorate the
men from Indiana who served during World War I.
The memorial was built as part of an agreement made
in 1919 by the City of Indianapolis with the recently
formed American Legion, in order that the Legion
would establish their national headquarters in the city.
The national headquarters, the Auxiliary building
and Cenotaph Square lie at the north end of the Plaza,
with the Central Library just across the street.
To the south lies University Park with the Birch E. Bayh
Federal Court House just across the street. In 1994, the entire plaza
was designated as a National Historic Landmark District.
Construction on the Memorial was started in 1926
with dedication ceremonies in 1933. Over the years,
financial resources slowed the construction and it was
still incomplete at the time of its dedication.
In addition to the Shrine Room, the building also
houses the Pershing Auditorium,
offices, meeting rooms and a museum
showing artifacts from conflicts dating from
WW I, including Vietnam and 9-11.
One of the doors on the main entrance on the north side
of the Memorial, which opens into a foyer taking a
visitor to the Pershing Auditorium, shown below.
Above the Pershing Auditorium is the
Shrine Room, which was designed to allow
the visitor to consider the meaning of service.
While there is an elevator, the room can be approached
by a staircase, which is people-friendly with appropriately
scaled steps and landings.
The Shrine Room with its design and subdued lighting,
is a quiet place for contemplation for one's role as a citizen
of the world, to think over our relationships with
the community at large, and to the sacrifices made by others
in service to ideals too often invoked by those whose
intentions are less honorable than the words they mouth.