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Monday, August 27, 2012

USS Indianapolis Museum

   Last weekend when our GPS had us driving around in circles looking for The 100 Acre Park, Don had spotted a billboard advertising the USS Indianapolis Museum. We've lived in the Indy area for 24 years and never knew there was one. I made a mental note about it.
   A little research this past week on the museum lead me to the Indianapolis War Memorial downtown on the Military Park Square. We decided we would check it out on Saturday.And check it out we did.
   The War Memorial is quite a beautiful work of architecture. It covers 5 city blocks and was conceived in 1919 to honor our WWI vets. Admission is free. Donations are accepted. Please conduct yourself with reverence.
 
  Upon entering we were led to a replica of the USS Indianapolis's radio room by a very eager and knowledgeable volunteer. He took great pride in explaining all the different equipment and how it would've been used on board ship.

    We even learned how the term "A cup of Joe" originated. In 1914, then Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels banned the serving of alcohol on naval ships leaving sailors to imbibe of the next strongest drink on board, coffee.

   So what began as a tribute to our returning World War I veterans came to encompass all the United States veterans who ever fought in any American war beginning with the Revolutionary War.

   We were surprised to learn that  Revolutionary War battles had been fought right here in Indiana. We had no idea that battles had raged this far west so early in the birth of our nation. We also learned that at the Siege of Fort Sackville in Vincennes, George Rogers Clark seized control of the fort from the British thus ensuring Clark's reputation as an early American military hero.

   We listened to a recording of Franklin Delano Roosevelt over an old time radio announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor and America entering into World War II. We saw many life size dioramas depicting battle scenes, Buffalo soldiers, MASH medical units, the Salvation Army, Ernie Pyle, a replica of the bunker that Saddam Hussein was hiding in when he was finally located, and so much more. Every war from the Revolution to present day Afghanistan was depicted.

   Of course, the Memorial wouldn't be complete without a tribute to honor our fallen from 9-11. I stood memorized before a steel beam that had come from the World Trade Center, remembering that dreadful day still so fresh in America's consciousness.


   I plan to take my father, a Korean War vet, here when he comes to visit in October. I think he will be very impressed and humbled, like we were.

   THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR VETERANS.

   Here's looking at you kid......................................................

2 comments:

heating indianapolis in said...

We even learned how the term "A cup of Joe" originated. In 1914, then Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels banned the serving of alcohol on naval ships leaving sailors to imbibe of the next strongest drink on board, coffee.

scott davidson said...

As an artist myself, I enjoy reading Philip Koch's sensitive writing about Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, who along with Whistler and Rothko, are my favorite American painters.
I don't live in the United States but have traveled and passed a short time there. But even with the little time spent in your beautiful country, especially in small-town America, I can relate to some of the poetical feel that Hopper and Wyeth had captured in their art, which is for me part of the attraction of their paintings.
Browsing at wahooart.com the other day, as I do now and then, I find a good selection of Edward Hopper's work, http://EN.WahooArt.com/@/EdwardHopper ,in the big archive of Western Art, that customers can order online for canvas prints and even hand-painted, oil-painting reproductions can be made and sent to them.
Hopper's surrealistic and depersonalized world is there again. Timeless, yes, as it is still there now in the roadside cafes and diners that I ate at all over America.