Memorial to fallen Iraq War veterans arrives in Perrysburg

A traveling memorial dedicated to fallen soldiers of the Iraq War is on display at Perrysburgâ??s Holiday Inn French Quarter.

Ohio artist Anita Miller completed a series of paintings in 2008 that depicts life-size images of the 23 soldiers from Lima Company 3/25 who died in the Iraq War. Miller was inspired to create â??The Eyes of Freedomâ?? memorial after hearing about the Lima Company tragedies in 2005.

Retired Marine Mike Strahle served with Columbus-based Marines Reserve unit Lima Company 3/25 from 2003 to 2007. While deployed in Iraq on August 3, 2005, Strahle and his unit suffered a deadly IED attack. The roadside bomb killed 11 Lima Co. Marines and three troop drivers of 4th AAV BN. Strahle suffered leg injuries and returned home.

Strahle now serves travels the United States as the Director of the Eyes of Freedom Lima Co. Memorial. He says the memorial helps veterans like him cope with their own memories of war.

â??Theyâ??re looking at my guys, but theyâ??re not seeing my guys, theyâ??re seeing their guys that they served right next to,â?? said Strahle. He continued, â??To see that happen in front of me, itâ??s something that I canâ??t put into words.â??

The memorial will be on display at the Holiday Inn French Quarter until about 4 p.m. on Saturday.