17 April 2013

Coldspring Sponsors The Eyes of Freedom: Lima Company Memorial


The Eyes of Freedom: Lima Company Memorial

Exhibit at ICCFA Convention 

Coldspring -- the leading quarrier and fabricator of natural stone and bronze manufacturing in North America – sponsored a traveling memorial last week honoring the fallen of Lima Company 3/25.

The exhibit was shown in conjunction with the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) Convention at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla., April 10-12. Also sponsored by R+L Carriers, The Eyes of Freedom depicts one of the hardest hit units in Operation Iraqi Freedom. These 23 life-size portraits have become a remembrance of spirit honoring all those who answered the call to service, in every branch of our armed forces.

According to Mac Cariveau, Executive Vice President of Coldspring Memorial, Coldspring decided to sponsor this exhibit to help celebrate the lives and sacrifices of the soldiers and their families, as well as honor the industry professionals who help families with the grieving process and create a lasting tribute to their loved ones.

“Coldspring is so impressed by the dedication of the professionals in our industry and their efforts to help families during their time of need, it is our honor to partner with R+L Carriers, Inc. to bring the Eyes of Freedom exhibit to the ICCFA and the Greater Tampa area,” said Cariveau. 

“We are very excited to bring a wonderful experience to the ICCFA and allow everyone in attendance to honor and show appreciation to the men and women that serve in our great military,” added Mike Strahle, Director of The Eyes of Freedom and a member of the Lima Company (he served along with the men honored in the life-size paintings). “We invite everyone to join us in a show of support for all branches of service, past present and future.” 

The Eyes of Freedom: Lima Company Memorial was created as a result of an Ohio artist’s vision with the help of the families of the fallen and the returned Marines of Lima 3/25. One of those visionaries was Strahle. He too was badly injured in the explosion that took six of his squad members; two more fell to enemy fire just days prior. After retiring from Lima Co. 3/25, he saw The Eyes of Freedom unveiled at the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda in 2008. Three years later he would contact Anita Miller, the artist and creator, requesting to host the memorial at a Veteran’s Support fundraiser he co-founded. Miller worked with family and Lima Co. Marines to paint this tribute, a project that took her two and a half years to complete.

According to Strahle, though the paintings in this Memorial specifically depict the 23 fallen Marines from Lima 3/25, it has become much more. 

“The Eyes of Freedom is for all who have answered the call to service,” he said. “Behind each portrait we feel the hearts and spirits of the thousands of men and women who have served our country, in every branch of the armed forces.”

Miller added that “the main reason for creating The Eyes of Freedom was to heal family members and loved ones after suffering such loss in 2005, so we share a common mission with the industry.”  

Based in Wilmington, Ohio, R+L Carriers, Inc. is a leading less-than-truckload (LTL) freight transportation company, providing guaranteed, day-definite regional and transcontinental service through a network of more than 100 service centers in the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. 

ICCFA is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, funeral service, cremation and memorialization profession. Founded in 1887 as the Association of American Cemetery Superintendents, today the ICCFA is composed of more than 7,500 cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories, memorial designers and related businesses worldwide. It serves and supports these members through a host of benefits designed to increase their management proficiency and improve their businesses--from regular updates on government and legal issues, to educational meetings, to a variety of services and products tailored to meet their needs.