The Eyes of Freedom is coming to Lyons! This traveling exhibition honors the service and sacrifice of all who answer our Nation’s call. The tribute includes life sized portraits of the 23 men from L company, a Marine reserve unit based out of Columbus Ohio, although the Marines were from across the United States. This unique artistic display offers an intimate experience to look into the eyes and touch the boots of those who gave their lives in service to our Nation. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a life sized bronze entitled, Silent Battle, which recognizes the trauma and post traumatic stress that Veterans and their families witness and live through every day. The artist, Anita Miller, who now resides in Lyons, created this memorial which unveiled in the Ohio Statehouse Memorial Day of 2008. To date, the exhibit has been seen by thousands in 32 states. The Lyon’s Regional Library will host its 343rd event.
Special programming will be offered for all ages from pre-K up to seniors. See below for the full line up. The event begins with a thunderous motorcycle salute as the bikes escort the semi into town on Sunday, June 5 at 3:15 pm. Please come out and show your support as we unload and maybe even get a sneak peak if you want to help set up the display. All ages welcome. The exhibit open hours in the Community Room (only) will be 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. each day from June 6-11.
Our special programming will be offered every night at 7 pm. Monday kicks off with an opening ceremony where we will honor a Gold Star mom whose son is in one of the paintings.
Before each night’s program on Tuesday through Friday we will do a special showing of “THE PROMISE”, a 1/2 hour documentary made by Channel 9 News in Denver about the sculpture, Silent Battle, and the issues of mental health for veterans.
Please register for evening events throughout the week. Due to the large physical size of the exhibit, we will only have seats for 25 people each night. Walk-ins are welcome, but there may be standing room only.
Learn more about individual events -and- register on the Library Events Calendar.
Thank you to the Eyes of Freedom exhibit, the Town of Lyons Housing and Human Services Commission, the Friends of the Lyons Library, and the Wide Spaces Community Initiative for your partnership and financial support of this series
Sunday: 3 p.m. Motorcycle Escort to Lyons Library
Monday: 7-8 p.m. – Official Opening ceremony. Mike Strahle, combat veteran who served with L company, and Anita Miller, the artist, as well as Sarah Duvall, a Gold Star Mother, welcome you to experience the Eyes of Freedom.
Tuesday: 12:45 p.m. – Senior citizens invited to a special Open house and chance to speak with Mike Strahle, combat veteran, and Anita Miller, artist
6:30 p.m. – THE PROMISE Documentary showing
7 p.m. – Janaki Jane presents an overview of the mental health issues surrounding veterans and their families. Open to the whole community as these are often universal themes.
Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. – Children’s Hour for pre-K to grade 5: caregivers invited to stay as children can meet a combat vet who age appropriately answers questions about his experience. Children are also offered a creative expression opportunity.
5-6 p.m. – Tween and Teen Open House to speak with Mike about his experience.
6:30 p.m. – THE PROMISE, Documentary showing
7 p.m. – “From Combat to Canvas”. The artist and combat veteran present their own perspectives on the creation and power of the Eyes of Freedom.
Thursday: 6:30 p.m. – THE PROMISE, Documentary showing
7 p.m. – Community round table discussion on Mental Health facilitated by Janaki Jane.
Friday: 6:30 p.m. – THE PROMISE, Documentary showing
7 p.m. – “The Healing Power of Art” Presentation by Robert Bellows and his veteran crew and Anita Miller about the healing possibilities of the creative process.
Saturday: 9-10 a.m. – Special Open House for Veterans ONLY. Meet vets from several different wars and experience the Eyes of Freedom in this private time. Coffee and Donuts too.
7 p.m. – Closing Ceremony
HONORING LYONS’ VIETNAM VETERAN: Mickey Hawkins
Hawkins was the only military person from Lyons to have lost his life in Vietnam. His ALUMNI class of 1969 will be commemorating his service by dedicating a sandstone bench on Friday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Lyons Redstone Museum (the 50th anniversary of his death… which event was delayed due to COVID restrictions). Everyone is welcome to join us for this ceremony.