By Carol McIntire
The public is being asked to participate in a patriotic welcome for the Eyes of Freedom: Lima Company Memorial to Carrollton July 16 as it arrives for a six-day visit at the Carroll County Fair.
The memorial, an emotional tribute to the 23 men of Lima Company (18 from Ohio) killed over a five-year period in 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, contains life sized portraits of the fallen Marines and Navy Corpsmen. Their eyes reflect the thousands of men and women who gave their lives and served the United States of America. Their boots stand at the base of the portraits, making the gift of their service even more personal.
An R&L Carriers semi trailer carrying the memorial is scheduled to arrive at Adventure Harley Davidson in New Philadelphia in the early afternoon. Motorcyclists who would like to join a caravan to the Carroll County Fairgrounds are asked to meet at Adventure prior to the 4:45 departure time.
According to Jessica Edie, fair board member handling arrangement for the visit, the caravan will travel, with a police escort, on SR 39 through New Philadelphia and continue on toward Carrollton. The group is scheduled to stop at the Rock Shop west of Carrollton, where local law enforcement and fire trucks will join the parade. Motorcyclists can also join the caravanat this time and travel on SR 39 to Public Square and north on N. Lisbon St. to the fairgrounds.
Residents are encouraged to line the streets and highways holding American flags or display American flags.
Once the semi arrives at the fairgrounds (approximately 5:45 p.m) .American Electric Power (AEP) and Carroll Electric Co-op trucks will create an arch with an American flag for the truck to pass through as it enters the grounds.
The exhibit will be housed in the Horticulture Hall on the south end of the fairgrounds. The building will be open each day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. with free admission.
The exhibit includes educational kiosks and a multi media video display that add to the experience. Mike Strahle, a Purple Heart combat veteran who served alongside the fallen, provides a personal and gripping testimony.