My current visit to Indianapolis,IN marks my fourth visit to this fine city. We drove through Indianapolis on one of our Kansas trips many years ago. At that time I saw the camp ground and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. My girls loved the Children’s Museum. Twelve years ago I visited Indianapolis with Bruce and my girls for General Convention/Assembly for the Church of the Nazarene. That is the same reason I am in Indianapolis this week. I have attended plenary sessions, workshops, committee meetings and worship services. I have established a morning hotel routine of getting coffee from Starbucks and checking my email, etc. while seating in the lobby. (Free wi-fi is available in the lobby) I appreciate the ease of getting to the convention center via the walkway from my hotel. Did you know that “50% of the US population lives within an eight-hour drive of Indy”? Probably why it is a good place for a convention.

Yesterday I had a free afternoon so I decided to go for a walk to explore a little. I didn’t want to head towards the shopping area. The temptation to purchase unnecessary items or even necessary things would have been great so no shopping. I had read in the Indy Visitor Guide in my hotel room that there was a canal running through the city. Really?!? I didn’t know there was a canal. I have been here three times before and never knew that. So I set off to find the canal which it turns out was very close to my hotel. It is a lovely area with gardens and many of the museums back onto it. There were people in rented paddle boats as well as people pedaling surreys on the walkways. There were koy fish in the canal and no swimming signs. There are bridges that cross over the canal and underneath those bridges there are painted murals. It is very clean and calm.

I had read that there was a Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial along the canal. The Memorial according to the visitor guide “celebrates the 3,456 people who have received our country’s highest award of military valor. Their names are on 27 curving glass panels at this one-acre memorial, which represents conflicts dating back to the Civil War all the way through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.” I was awed by the sheer number of people who have received “this highest military honor for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.” I am grateful to those who give so much for my freedoms.

My time of wandering was growing short and I needed something to eat before my next plenary session so I continued on for a short distance and then ascended a stairway back up to street level. At the top of the stairs was a very large piece of black granite that looked like it had be broken in two. I thought I have stumbled upon a September 11 Memorial and I was right. It said “September 11, 2001 we will never forget.” Go figure! I was struck again by the fact that my personal lose is in the midst of a national tragedy. I actually said thank you to Indianapolis. The memorial is well done. There are two large pieces of World Trade Center steel placed the way the towers stood. There is an eagle on top of one of the “towers”. There are also 4 smaller pieces of granite that act as a timeline – first plane hits tower, second plane hits tower, plane hits Pentagon and plane crashes in Pennsylvania. Each has an etching of either WTC1, WTC2, Pentagon and a PA map.

I took a bunch of photos which will have to be posted when I get home. I have a new camera and will need to download or is it upload those photos to my computer before I share them. I will share them later in the week. Lesson learned about traveling this week. Walk in a different direction and you may find something beautiful or meaningful or both.