CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -
For just three days, the traveling memorial of The Eyes of Freedom will be at Veterans Funeral Care in Clearwater.
From April 3-5 the exhibit will be open to the public.
The memorial of 23 life-sized portraits depicts the fallen of the Lima Company, one of the hardest hit units in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The portraits have become a powerful traveling military tribute honoring all those who answered the call to service, in every branch of our armed forces. The Eyes reflect the hundreds of thousands of men and women that have sacrificed defending our freedoms.
The exhibit will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
It will be delivered Thursday by local police, fire, military and Patriot Guard Riders.
Additional Background: The Eyes of Freedom: Lima Company Memorial was created as a result of an Ohio artist’s vision, in which she saw the finished memorial and felt she was being asked to create it. With the help of the families of the fallen and the returned Marines of L3/25, the work was created and unveiled in the Ohio State House Rotunda in 2008, as the vision foretold.
Although the paintings in this Memorial specifically depict the 23 fallen Marines from Lima 3/25, it has become much more; The Eyes of Freedom honors all who have answered the call to service. Behind each portrait we feel the honor and sacrifice of the thousands of men and women who have served our country, in every branch of the armed forces.
Mike Strahle retired from Lima Co. 3/25 and upon seeing The Eyes of Freedom unveiled at the Statehouse in 2008 knew he had witnessed something truly special. Three years later he would contact Anita Miller, the artist and creator, requesting to host the memorial at a Veteran’s Support fundraiser he co-founded. It was this reunion that sparked the passing of the baton from its creator to the hands of a brother in arms. For Mike this mission is personal. He too was badly injured in the explosion that took six of his squad members; two more fell to enemy fire just days prior.
The Eyes of Freedom Memorial’s exclusive transportation provider is R+L Carriers, Inc. based in Wilmington, OH. R+L is a leading less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service through a network of more than 100 service centers in the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.