Vietnam Memorial
The Vietnam War Memorial, Indianapolis
Korean War Memorial
The Korean War Memorial, Indianapolis

Opposite each other across the grass lawn of the American Legion Mall, the Vietnam Memorial is located to the west and the Korean War Memorial is on the east side. These two Memorials were dedicated on Memorial Day of 1996. The Vietnam Memorial help heal rift of the lack of welcome received by Vietnam veterans returning home. The Korean veterans who attended the dedication were reported by Randy Mills as finally feeling like their sacrifices had been acknowledged.[1] While the conflict had been supported on the home front, for some the homecoming lacked fanfare and recognition. Still worse was the quiet mourning and uncertainty of the families whose servicemen were MIA. Finally having a memorial site offered them a chance at closure.[2]  The 25 ft. (6.7 m) towers, designed by Patrick Bruner, are shapes as partial cylinders and made of granite and Indiana limestone.  The Vietnam Memorial, like its counterpart in Washington, D.C., includes the names of all 1,525 Hoosiers who died during the war. The first casualty was Lyal H. Erwins in 1965. Lynn H Rothenbuhler was one of 12 American advisors who lost their lives during the war. The final Indiana fatality was Mary T. Klinker (1973).  Across the mall, the Korean War Memorial features a map of the area of the conflict and excerpts of letters sent home. The war claimed the lives of 927 Hoosiers, whose names are also found on the monument. At the time of their dedication, many veterans of the two wars, and families who have lost members, were finally able to come together to share their stories and collective sorrows. Even though the war pre-dated the Korean and Vietnam wars, a site exclusive designated to honor World War II veterans was the last to be placed.

[1] Randy K. Mills, “Honoring Those Who Paid the Price” Forgotten Voices of the Korean War (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press, 2002), 192.

[2] Mills, Honoring, 239.