Why Flags Are Flying at Half-Staff in Indiana Today

Paying Tribute to Indiana State Trooper Aaron N. Smith

Last Updated on July 6, 2023 by Office of Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb / Indiana State Police

Indianapolis – Today, the State of Indiana is honoring the life and sacrifice of Indiana State Trooper Aaron N. Smith, who tragically lost his life while serving. In remembrance of Trooper Smith, flags across Indiana will be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, July 7, 2023. Governor Eric J. Holcomb is urging businesses and residents throughout Indiana to join in this tribute and lower their flags as well.

Memorializing an Exemplary Life of Service

Family members, friends, and members of the community, including Indiana State Troopers, police officers, and first responders from across the state and country, will gather to memorialize Trooper Aaron Smith on Friday, July 7, 2023. Trooper Smith, who served both as an Indiana State Trooper and a Sergeant in the Indiana National Guard, will receive police and military honors. Following the funeral ceremony, a police procession will escort Trooper Smith to his final resting place at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

Details of Visitation, Funeral, and Burial

Visitation: Thursday, July 6, 2023 from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Location: Emmanuel Church Greenwood Campus, 1640 West Stones Crossing Road Greenwood, IN 46143

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Funeral: Friday, July 7, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.
Location: Emmanuel Church Greenwood Campus, 1640 West Stones Crossing Road, Greenwood, IN 46143

Burial: Friday, July 7, 2023 following the procession
Location: Crown Hill Cemetery – Heroes of Public Safety Area, 700 W. 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208

The public is encouraged to line the procession route as a show of support for Trooper Smith’s family, friends, and colleagues. One special tradition during the procession is the passing under a Garrison Flag. This will take place near Whiteland High School on U.S. 31, just north of Whiteland Road. The public can park in the southwest parking lot of the high school and walk to a safe area along U.S. 31. When the coach carrying Trooper Smith’s remains pauses under the flag, a radio call will symbolize marking him off duty for the final time. The procession is estimated to begin at 1:00 p.m. As the procession passes through downtown Indianapolis, there will also be opportunities to view it near West Street to New York Street, then north on Illinois Street. Please find a safe parking spot and avoid blocking lanes of travel or standing in the roadway.

To guide attendees, here is the planned route:

  • Start at Emmanuel Church of Greenwood, 1640 West Stones Crossing Road, Greenwood, IN
  • Exit church lot and turn west onto West Stones Crossing Road to S.R. 135.
  • Head south on S.R. 135 to Whiteland Road.
  • Proceed east on Whiteland Road to U.S 31.
  • Continue north on U.S. 31, passing Whiteland High School and going under the Garrison Flag. Then, turn right onto S. Madison Ave.
  • Travel north on S. Madison Ave to the roundabout, taking the first exit east onto Smith Valley Rd. Continue on Smith Valley Road, passing the neighborhood where Trooper Smith grew up.
  • As you make a left curve, the road becomes northbound S. Emerson Ave.
  • Follow S. Emerson Ave north, passing Greenwood Airport to the left, until you reach Stop 11 Rd.
  • Make a left turn onto Stop 11 Road, which later becomes E Meridian School Rd at East St. Continue heading west until you reach S.R. 135.
  • Proceed north on S.R. 135 until you reach Hanna Ave.
  • Turn west onto Hanna Ave, then continue to Bluff Rd.
  • Head north on Bluff Road, which eventually turns into West St.
  • Keep heading north on West St, passing IFD Station 13 at West St and Ohio St. Continue until you reach New York St.
  • Travel east on New York St, then head north on Illinois St until you reach 34th St.
  • Turn west onto 34th St, which will lead you to the entrance of Crown Hill Cemetery.
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Note: During the procession, the ramps from I-65 to Main Street and I-65 to County Line Road, as well as the ramp from I-70 to West Street in Indianapolis, will be closed.

Procession

Remembering Trooper Smith’s Life and Achievements

Here is an obituary provided by Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center:

Indiana State Trooper Aaron N. Smith, 33, of Franklin, IN, passed away on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, in Plainfield, IN. Throughout his life, Trooper Smith dedicated himself to serving his family, friends, community, state, and country.

Born on January 9, 1990, in Franklin, IN, Aaron graduated from Whiteland Community High School in 2008. He excelled in wrestling and football during his time there. Aaron also earned a private pilot’s license and studied aviation management, graduating from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN, in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Aaron was a proud graduate of the 78th Indiana State Police Recruit Academy and a member of the Indiana State Police Alliance. He served as an Indiana State Police Trooper for nearly five years and was a valued member of the State Police Crash Reconstruction Team. Recently, he received two Lifesaving Awards in recognition of his bravery.

Additionally, Aaron served in the Indiana National Guard since 2011, achieving the rank of Sergeant. He worked as a Utilities Equipment Repairer for the 38th Infantry Division, 38th Sustainment Brigade, 190th Transportation Battalion, 1638th Transportation Company. Aaron was honored with various military awards, including the Army Achievement Award and the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal.

Outside of his professional life, Aaron was an active member of Emmanuel Church Greenwood Campus. He and his wife Megan were dedicated volunteers in the children’s ministry. They also participated in the CGX CrossFit community in Bargersville, IN. Aaron enjoyed smoking brisket, flying drones, hunting, and cherished time spent with his loved ones.

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Surviving Aaron is his wife Megan L. (Bunting) Smith, their fur babies Paisley Grace and Oakley Rose, his mother Patricia Ann (Para) Denny, his father Garry W. Smith (Cynthia Marlin Smith), brothers Jeromey M. Para, Frank Catanzarite (Amber), Chad M. King (Taylor Jarboe), a sister Hope E. Smith, maternal grandparents Gene and Carolyn S. (Wilhite) Marlin, father-in-law and mother-in-law Douglas and Lynn J. (Schjenken) Bunting, sisters-in-law Ashley L. Bunting (Alec Brandrup), and Nicole L. Bunting, grandmother-in-law Delores Bunting, as well as several loving aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Preceding Aaron in death are his paternal grandparents Robert R. and Evelyn (Velich) Smith, maternal grandfather Sylvester Para, maternal grandmother Bonnie (Murphy) Blodgett, and maternal grandmother-in-law Fern Schjenken.

Funeral Service Details

The service will be held on Friday, July 7, 2023, at 11AM at Emmanuel Church Greenwood Campus, 1640 West Stones Crossing Road, Greenwood, IN 46143. The service will be broadcasted live on all Indianapolis television networks and streamed live on their platforms.

Friends are invited to pay their respects on Thursday, July 6, 2023, from 2PM until 8PM at Emmanuel Church Greenwood Campus.

Following the service, Trooper Aaron Smith will be laid to rest with honors at Crown Hill Cemetery in the Heroes of Public Safety section.

Supporting the Family

Memorial contributions to support Trooper Smith’s family can be made at any Indiana Members Credit Union branch, or mailed to the Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation office. Donations can also be made online via credit card or Venmo on the Foundation’s website. Please make checks payable to Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation, Inc., with the memo “Trooper Aaron Smith.” To contribute, visit 5 WS.

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Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center, located at 300 South U.S. 31 (Morton Street) in Franklin, IN, is in charge of the arrangements.

For online condolences, please visit www.swartzmortuary.com.

Memorial Fund

An account has been established at Indiana Members Credit Union (IMCU) named “Aaron Smith Memorial Fund” to support Trooper Aaron N. Smith’s family. Donations can be made by visiting the nearest IMCU branch or calling 800-556-9268. There is a branch in Franklin, Trooper Smith’s hometown.

Donations can also be made through the Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. For contributions towards funeral and other final expenses, please contribute directly to:

Indiana Fallen Heroes Foundation, Inc.
1710 South 10th Street
Noblesville, IN 46060
(317) 431-0755

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