The Living Monument Is Alive!
INDIANAPOLIS--Born from a piece of Indiana limestone mined from a quarry between Bedford and Bloomington, the Living Monument joined the other memorials in Indianapolis Friday, dedicated to all who have served, like all the other monuments.
But, the Living Monument is also different.
"Getting behind our living veterans is something that can unify us, regardless of our religious or political beliefs," said Matt Howard, president of Polycor West, the company that built the monument.
The monument is flat on top, like a pedestal, and is meant for veterans to stand on it, take pictures, and share those photos. That's why it's called a "living monument". Its celebration of diversity in the military comes from its designers, who point out that having it in a city of monuments, like Indy, makes it easy for anyone who served to be honored by standing on it.
"This block of stone is like so many of our veterans. Just as the stone was taken from the comfort of its home to serve a higher purpose on foreign soil, so do our men and women in our military forego the comforts of their birthplace, to serve our nation and abroad," said Matt Hall, in charge of Veterans Affairs in the mayor's office.
He pointed out that only Washington, D.C. has more veteran and war memorials and monuments than Indianapolis.
The new monument sits right in the geographic center of the state.
"Any time we can honor our veterans who have served, it's a great honor to do that," said Mike Clark, a 26-year veteran and president of the Rolling Thunder, Indiana chapter that meets at the Ft. Benjamin Harrison vet center.
"We've seen videos of it, Polycor, when they built it. It's gonna be an awesome monument," he said, before posing for one of the first post-dedication pictures on the new monument.
General Stewart Goodwin, executive director of the Indiana War Memorial Foundation, pointed out that one and a half million people walk on Monument Circle each year, so the Living Monument is bound to be utilized for its intended purpose quite often.
PHOTO: Allison Lemons/Emmis