The eyes of 22 Marines and one Navy corpsman beam from life-size portraits in a traveling memorial on display at the Tampa Convention Center this week.
The men, part of Lima Company 3/25, lost their lives in 2005 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
A vision of a completed memorial in the Ohio State House rotunda inspired artist Anita Miller to paint the portraits. The memorial, called Eyes of Freedom, was unveiled at Ohio’s Capitol in 2008.
On hand Wednesday was Michael Strahle, director of Eyes of Freedom. While serving with Lima, Strahle was injured in an IED explosion that killed six of his comrades. Strahle retired from the Marines in 2008.
As it travels the country, it has come to represent not only the 23 fallen men, but also all who have served in the armed forces. The memorial is on display at the convention center, 333 S. Franklin St., from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.