I looked up at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
last Saturday morning and caught a glimpse of
the State Capitol building a couple blocks to the west.
The landmark is ever-present in the daily lives
of Indy residents, often used as a way to help others
find their way around town. "It's just off the Circle
on Market Street, about a half block east of the Monument,"
would be the easiest way to describe the location
of the little shop where I had breakfast.
Completed in 1901, the monument was erected to
commemorate the sacrifices made by Hoosier veterans
of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812,
the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, and the
One tends to take the presence of the figures
for granted. The massed figures twisting and contorted
can be easily glossed over in passing, but I find them
to be very graphic, especially during the winters.
It's then that the stark horrors of humans in combat
becomes as real to me as cold stone can depict.
I can almost hear the beating hearts of the snow-draped
figures as they react to the screams, the weapons fire,
the pain of watching their friends die under their feet.
As a reminder of why wars are terrible, this
is not a pretty monument, easy to look at.
As an anti-war monument, it is beautiful.