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Traveling military tribute offers an intimate experience of the meaning of service
The town of Lyons’ reputation as a creative community shines again in June as it wields art to honor Veterans. From June 6 to 11, the Lyons Regional Library is hosting the Eyes of Freedom, a nationally traveling military tribute that honors service and sacrifice.
Life-sized portraits of the fallen men of Lima Company greet visitors as they enter the Eyes of Freedom traveling exhibition. Looking into the eyes of the men who gave their lives in service offers an intimate experience of what the gift of service means on a personal level. The artist, Anita Miller, now a Lyons resident, worked together with the families of the fallen to paint realistic and accurate full-length portraits of their sons who died together in Iraq in 2005. To further deepen the personal connection, the families gave Miller their son’s combat boots to stand in front of their son’s portraits. In addition to the huge paintings, Miller has added a life-sized bronze entitled, “Silent Battle” which highlights the mental health crisis which some veterans experience. Interactive displays also provide opportunities for Veterans and civilians alike to engage personally.
Special programming begins with a motorcycle escort of the semi-trailer carrying the artwork into Lyons on Sunday, June 5, at 3:15 pm and continues every night at 7 pm. The opening ceremony on Monday night, June 6, features Gold Star mother, Sarah Duvall, whose son is depicted in one of the paintings. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s programs focus on mental health awareness and offer opportunities for discussion. Wednesday’s and Friday’s events highlight the creative process as a tool for healing and will include local artists who are working with Veterans. Additional programs for children, and seniors and a special private event for Veterans are also scheduled.
This is a free event. Open viewing hours are 10 am to 8:30 pm from Monday, June 6, to Saturday, 11, 2022, in the Lyons Community Library at 451 4th Ave., Lyons, Colorado. See the Lyons Regional Library website lyons.colibraries.org or eyesoffreedom.org for more information.