Memorial Day is coming up on Monday, May 30, 2022 - and while many of us will spend the holiday (hopefully a day off for you) with family and/or friends, I hope we all remember the reason for that special day. In case you might do some traveling over that holiday weekend, I've put together a list of 10 military museums around Indiana that you might want to visit, if not this month, then sometime in the future.

The History of Memorial Day

Before you get to the list, let's have a brief history lesson - I bet you'll learn something new. Memorial Day has been around for over 150 years, going all the way back to May 30, 1868. The first ceremony was for soldiers who had died during the Civil War. It was originally called Decoration Day since the tradition was to decorate graves of fallen soldiers with flags, flowers, and wreaths. In the years that followed, many cities and states recognized Memorial Day as a legal holiday. It was 103 years later, in 1971 when Congress made Memorial Day a national holiday, to be observed on the last Monday in May each year.

It's Really Not a 'Happy' Kind of Holiday

I realize that it is somewhat of a tradition to wish a 'Happy' holiday to folks - Happy Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, etc. Memorial Day, however, really isn't one of those kinds of days. Remember, the day is meant to honor the courage and sacrifice of soldiers who have died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, so we're really not celebrating anything. Just be mindful of what the day means to those who have lost loved ones who were in the service. Have a great time, enjoy the day, but just remember what it's all about, that's all.

Indiana Military Museums

I think you should keep this list handy, and then next time you're on a road trip around Indiana, you might be able to plan a visit to one of the following museums. We have a couple of great ones right here in Evansville, by the way, so you should probably start with those.

Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum - Columbus, IN

Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum
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  • Address: 4742 Ray Boll Boulevard, Columbus, IN 47203
  • Hours: Open Thursday-Saturday from 10am-4pm
  • Admission: FREE (donations are appreciated)
  • Website: atterburybakalarairmuseum.org

Ernie Pyle World War II Museum - Dana, IN

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  • Address: 120 W Briarwood Avenue, Dana, IN 47847
  • Hours: Open Friday & Saturday from 10am-5pm, and Sunday from 1pm-4pm
  • Admission: FREE (donations are appreciated)
  • Website: erniepyle.org

Evansville Wartime Museum

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  • Address: 7503 Petersburg Road, Evansville, IN 47725
  • Hours: Open Thursday-Sunday from 10am-4pm
  • Admission: $11 for general admission, $8 for ages 6-17, FREE for children under five, $8 for Active Duty Military, Veterans, Seniors (65+), and First Responders
  • Website: evansvillewartimemuseum.org

Freeman Army Airfield Museum - Seymour, IN

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Indiana Military Museum, Inc. - Vincennes, IN

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  • Address: 715 South 6th Street, Vincennes, IN 47591
  • Hours: Open Monday-Sunday from 10am-4pm
  • Admission: $8 for adults, $7 for Veterans, Active Duty, & Seniors (over age 62), FREE for WWII veterans, $5 for ages 5-17, FREE for children under five
  • Website: indianamilitarymuseum.com

Indiana War Memorial Museum - Indianapolis, IN

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  • Address: 55 E. Michigan Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204
  • Hours: Wednesday-Sunday from 9am-5pm
  • Admission: FREE (donations are appreciated)
  • Website: indianawarmemorials.org

Military Honor Park & Museum - South Bend, IN

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  • Address: 4300 Veteran's Drive, South Bend, IN 46628
  • Hours: Open Saturday from 10am-5pm, and Sunday from 12n-5pm
  • Website: militaryhonorpark.org

USS LST Ship Memorial - Evansville, IN

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  • Address: 610 NW Riverside Drive, Evansville, IN 47708
  • Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-4pm
  • Website: lstmemorial.org

Veterans Memorial Museum - Terre Haute, IN

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Even more Indiana museums...

The Most Unique Museums in Indiana

Indiana is home to a whole bunch of museums, several of which house some pretty unique, unusual, and unreal items. Here is a list of 14 such museums from all around the Hoosier state. I decided to list them in alphabetical order. Enjoy!