Marines gone but not forgotten as art keeps their memory alive

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - In just a few months during 2005, the Lima Company 325 from Ohio lost 23 men, all killed in action in Haditha, Iraq.  Five were from the Tri-State.

A tribute to those men has made its way to high schoolers in Colerain Township.

The memorial had special meaning for Colerain. A former teacher was among those who lost a son. Sgt. David Kreuter is one of the men portrayed in these life size paintings meant to keep their memory alive.

It's called "The Eyes of Freedom."

Artist Anita Miller of Columbus spent more than two years getting the eyes of 23 fallen Marines just right.

After news broke in 2005 of the dozens of Marines killed, Miller, a complete stranger to the unit, dreamt of a way to honor them.

"I received a dream in which I saw the memorial created. Eight panels standing in an octagon and on the panels were life size portraits of each of these Marines," said Miller.

"This is as close as a lot of people can get to these pictures. I think they will see this and realize the struggle and the good in each and every soldier," said Kameron Ray, a Colerain High student.

"If I can be a small part of helping to tell their story, you know, I'm happy to do that," said social studies teacher, Andy Jungkunz, who helped bring the memorial to Colerain.

"It's as if they're speaking to you and getting to say their goodbyes," said Catherine Martimore, a freshman.

The memorial is open to the public during school hours and until 8 p.m. Thursday. The artist and one of the men of Lima Company will be in Colerain on Friday to speak with students.

Find out more about the exhibit on its website.

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