Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Trip - Indiana Part I

We came into Indiana Thursday afternoon, and at a rest area near the border, this was the first sign I saw inside the door.

It seemed to say, "Welcome to Tornado Alley." I was... impressed.

As we came into our campground in Noblesville, the road curved toward the White River. Along the banks floated the green algae that announces mosquito breeding areas. When the campground manager gave us a choice of their only two available campsites, I picked the one that was farthest away from the water. This is it, up against the corn fields. It wasn't far enough, though, because last night a mosquito got in the motorhome and bit me in the forehead, and now I have a huge knot there for everyone to see.

Yesterday we went into Indianapolis, and one of the places we visited was the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial. I went there last year when I attended the National Missionary Convention, but I wanted to see it again and give my mom a chance to see it too.

They had some plants near the memorial with purple berries. That color is not a trick of the light. I have no idea what they are. Anyone?

The memorial is arranged by war or overall campaign. On the World War II panel, I found Audie Murphy's name. His heroics were memorialized in the movie, To Hell and Back.

On the Civil War panel, the second or third name (the names are in alphabetical order) said he got his medal from action in France. France? In the American Civil War???

I went over to the computer touch-screen panel (which is really hard to read in bright daylight) and typed in his last name (Aheam). As I recall, it said he was a Navy paymaster on a ship that battled a Confederate ship off the coast of France (who knew?), and he kept his cool under heavy fire.

After the Medal of Honor Memorial, we found the USS Indianapolis Memorial, which is only a year old. It tells the story of the final voyage of this ship. After delivering top-secret cargo (the first atomic bomb) to Tinian, she left port and was later torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine just two weeks before the end of World War II. What the crew endured in the Pacific was horrific. The events of the sinking and its aftermath have been chronicled in Doug Stanton's In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of its Survivors. Excellent book. I recommend it.

There are places in Indiana, here and there, where autumn is beginning to show itself. Most of the time, I haven't been able to get a picture. But down along the canal near the USS Indianapolis Memorial, these trees were nice enough to pose for me.

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