The Indiana Freedom Memorial is a limestone, granite, and bronze monument that pays tribute to fallen soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). The memorial is located in Matter Park along the scenic riverwalk that overlooks the Mississinewa River in Marion, Indiana. The Indiana Freedom Memorial’s unadorned design purposely reflects the raw courage and sacrifice of the American soldier.
When a soldier is lost on the battlefield, it has become customary to arrange that soldier’s boots, rifle, and helmet in a display known as the Battlefield Cross. The members of that soldier’s squad often gather around and memorialize their fallen comrade. Appropriately, the Battlefield Cross was selected as the centerpiece of the monument.
The large Indiana limestone piece behind the Battlefield Cross weighs three tons and is modeled after the headstones of American heroes buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The massive size of the natural stone is symbolic of the strength of the American soldier, as well as the breadth of their sacrifice.
The beautiful black granite that supports the stone is mined, cut, and polished in the Midwest and provides the constant, everlasting foundation upon which the bronze battlefield cross rests.
To date, eight soldiers from Grant County, Indiana have given their lives in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In memory of these fallen soldiers, eight trees will be planted surrounding the memorial. Each tree will have a bronze plaque with the soldier’s name, rank, service insignia, etc. The Living Memorial trees will “stand guard” over the monument.
The Indiana Freedom Memorial was designed to be a strong and straightforward memorial – built by local craftsmen with local materials. It will serve as a constant reminder that freedom is not free, and that many men and women have paid the ultimate price to protect it.