Courage in the face of danger is a trait shared by those who choose duties in the military or emergency services. They serve at home and abroad, protecting our freedoms and our lives from all kinds of destructive forces. These are the persons who go forward when others retreat. They run in when others run out. They put their lives on the line every day for millions of people they don’t even know.
Named after Indiana National Guardsman Sgt Joseph E. Proctor, Proctor Park serves as a memorial to troops and first responders. While serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom in May 2006, Proctor, a graduate of Whiteland Community High School, saved the lives of his comrades when a bomb-laden truck breached the perimeter of Camp Ramadi. Despite the danger to his own life, Proctor engaged the speeding vehicle head-on, killing the driver and preventing the truck from going any further into the camp. The estimated 350 pounds of explosives carried by the suicide truck detonated, killing Proctor immediately. His act of bravery saved many soldiers that day. Proctor was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award given for valor in combat.
This 11-acre park was established in 2008 in memory of Sgt Proctor and countless other veterans and first responders. It includes walking trails, a fishing pond, shelter houses and playgrounds. Numerous monuments in the park testify to the pride and admiration the community feels toward Sgt. Proctor and all those who have served and those who follow in their footsteps. Families and veterans can wander through the Walk of Freedom honoring our military heroes and the Pathway of Honor commending our police, fire, and emergency responders. Proctor Park is a sanctuary from the busyness of the world, allowing for quiet reflection of the sacrifices these heroes have made and many continue to make daily. The Mission Statement of the Park declares this to be “a place of honor and remembrance; a place of reflection and thanksgiving; a place of community and celebration.”
The monuments in this park include the following:
- Indiana Military Casualties Monument
- Memorials for all military branches, police, fire, first responders
- 9/11 Memorial
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Monument
- Memorial to the USS Indianapolis
- Hoosier Heroes wall (added 2012) – names of 200+ Indiana soldiers who died while serving in the Armed Forces since Sept 11, 2001
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial (added 2014)
- WWII Memorial (added 2018)
- Korean War Monument (added 2019)