Day 4: April 21, 2013
A Day in Indy
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Shapiro's, like the Slippery Noodle, is on the route of the Dixie Highway and both businesses predate the highway. What is now the Slippery Noodle opened in 1850 as the Tremont House. Shapiro's opened in 1905 as Shapiro's. Although the business at Meridian and McCarty has morphed from a grocery to a delicatessen it has always sold food and it has always been run by the Shapiro family. Like any good cafeteria, the selection at Shapiro's begins with desserts so you can decide early on whether you're going to have room for meatloaf and green beans. Breakfast items are ordered from the cashier and brought to your table when ready. It takes a strong person to carry meals like this.

Downtown Indianapolis is rife with military monuments. There is even a name, The Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District, for the collection. I've seen most of the monuments multiple times but I've never been inside any of them and there are some insides worth seeing. Today would be the day. I started at the State Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which contains both an observation deck and the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum. From the observation deck, I took pictures of the state capitol and the building I planned on visiting next.

The exterior of the Indiana War Memorial Museum is impressive and the interior even more so. The Grand Foyer and the Pershing Auditorium are pictured. Although the museum was constructed at the end of The Great War (WWI), all conflicts are represented and there is even an "Attack On America" section. The last picture is of the recreated USS Indianapolis radio room.

The Shrine Room fills the upper part of the building and is accessed by a pair of marble staircases. The stated intent of the room is "to inspire citizenship amongst all who visit" and it accomplishes that rather well. The last picture is of the top of the altar in the room's center. Even though the Pledge of Allegiance is neither as historic (It didn't exist until 1892.) or as sacred (It wasn't adopted by congress until 1942.) as some would have us believe, it's kind of refreshing to see the pledge almost as I learned it. I say almost because there are two words missing from what I learned when I started school. I suspect many who have made a guess at what those two words were are wrong. When I learned the pledge, the words "of America" had been added, for the sake of clarity, after "United States". "under God" was added in 1954 by the same crowd who shoved aside "E pluribus unum" two years later. I'm not particularly fond of either.

I let it be known, via Facebook, that I was visiting the monuments and a friend in Italy suggested I also see the USS Indianapolis Memorial. A friend in Indianapolis seconded the suggestion and even agreed to guide me. The friend in Italy didn't make it. Jennifer Bremer met me at the canal and we walked along it to the Indianapolis Memorial and a few other sights, too. The last picture is of the Medal of Honor Memorial that stands near the canal. I assumed it contained only Indiana residents but Jennifer corrected me. It contains the names of all Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and I was able to locate the name of a high school classmate. The names are etched into glass panels and lighted from below. Yeah, I do need to get back here at night.

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