What may look like a piece of art representing an American Flag is much more than that. "It's mind blowing because each one of these dog tags is not just a dog tag, it represents a human that gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country", said John Hayden, the commander for the VFW Post 740. 


Hayden has worked tiresly to bring the the V.A.U. Fallen Heroes and Eyes of Freedom memorials to Erie for the week. He said that every single one of the 7,000 dog tags that make up the memorial are all in honor of man and women for our country and some are even from our area.

"296 from Pennsylvania, six from Erie, twelve from Pittsburgh and when you go to their website, you can Google up the name or the town and it will tell you where they are at on the wall here", explained Hayden.


As Hayden explains, there's room for more names to be added, but he doesn't want to see those spaces get filled, "You don't want to see anymore names come up here, but this is war and this is what happens."


The Memorial of the Eyes of Freedom will also be on display alongside the Fallen Heroes memorial during the first week of August at the Edinboro McKean VFW.


Hayden described the Memorial of the Eyes of Freedom as, "which are 26 guys that were killed in action in 2005 from May through August and Anita Miller made these portraits in honor of these guys."

This memorial arrived with a motorcycle escort on Sunday afternoon.


Hayden hopes that memorials like these help remind community members that people are still giving their lives for the United States.

The Fallen Heroes Memorial will be on display until August 4 and then Memorial of the Eyes of Freedom will be on display until August 6 at the Edinboro McKean VFW. It's located on Route 98 in Edinboro.