Lima Company Story
In the Spring of 2005, “L”-Co. or Lima Company was deployed to Iraq. Twenty two Marines and one Navy Corpsman were killed in action between May and August of that year. The news of their losses hit central Ohio and prompted spontaneous expressions of compassion for the families of the fallen and the surviving Marines.
The Artists Dream
Anita Miller, a Columbus artist who had no prior connection to the Marines describes her experience…“I awoke in the middle of the night with a start and hovering in front of me I saw life-sized paintings, displayed in a circle in the Ohio State House rotunda. People were milling around them leaving messages of love in the boots at the base of the portraits.
Suddenly, the people disappeared and a small crew of workers came in and dismantled the paintings as if they were moving it to a new location. I knew it was a traveling tribute to the fallen of Lima Company and I felt somehow, I was being asked to create it.” Two and a half years later, after meeting and working with the families of the fallen, The Lima Company Memorial was unveiled in the Ohio Statehouse and was displayed for 6 months and then began touring the country.
To date, we have displayed in 32 states and 330 + events. Mike Strahle, a former Marine member of the unit who was wounded in action joined the Memorial team in 2012 and renamed the tribute the Eyes of Freedom and now serves as Director of the Exhibit.