The Eyes of Freedom memorial will make its way through Swanton, Delta, and Wauseon on the way to the Fulton County Museum on Friday.
Eyes of Freedom is a traveling memorial honoring the 23 fallen soldiers of the Ohio-based Lima 3/25 Company who lost their lives in 2005 while serving in Iraq. The life-size mural paintings traveling the country honor all military personnel from yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Swanton, Delta, and Wauseon officials invite area residents to come out and line the streets to welcome the memorial through the towns. It is advised that participants line up early in order to be ready for the escort.
The motorcycle escort begins at 6 p.m. at Toledo Harley Davidson. It will travel down Central Avenue to County Road 1 (Fulton Lucas Road), and head south into Swanton, where it is expected to arrive about 6:25 p.m. It will continue south until it reaches Airport Highway, where the escort will turn west.
It will continue west on Airport Highway (U.S. 20A), arriving in the Village of Delta about 6:40 p.m., then in the City of Wauseon. In Wauseon, it will turn north on State Route 108 on its way to the museum, where is expected to arrive about 6:55 p.m.
The Fulton County Museum is located at 8848 State Route 108. An opening ceremony will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. The exhibit will be on display Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday from noon to 7 p.m., May 13-17 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and May 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Although the paintings in the memorial specifically depict the 23 fallen Marines from Lima 3/25, it has become much more. The mission of the nonprofit Eyes of Freedom Traveling Memorial is to honor the service and sacrifice of all who answer our nation’s call.
As of 2018, this memorial also includes the same artist’s newest creation: a life-sized bronzed sculpture of a serviceman seated with head down, his face depicting emotions of the internal Silent Battle, as the touchable work is aptly named. He represents the nation’s veterans who struggle with post-traumatic stress and thoughts of suicide as they navigate life after combat.
More information on the Eyes of Freedom memorial is available at eyesoffreedom.org.