Hundreds of shoes lined the south lawn at the University of Virginia Friday. The exhibit displayed 196 pairs of boots representing military casualties in Virginia.
The Eyes Wide Open Virginia exhibit symbolizes U.S. servicemen and women who have lost their lives in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Each pair of boots had the name of a soldier killed in the wars. The exhibit focuses on both the human and economic costs of war. The display also included an array of shoes representing Iraqi and Afghan civilian deaths.
Friday, members from each of the participating organizations read aloud a list of names of the men and women who lost their lives. Organizers say it is not an anti-war statement; it is a way to bring awareness and pay tribute.
"This is a student body that we wanted to make sure they are aware of the risk of war and the actual consequences the human and economic consequences of war," said Liz Crotty.
The goal of the exhibit is to put a human face on the casualties by spotlighting the deaths of U.S. soldiers and civilians.
The exhibit will move to the downtown mall in Charlottesville on Saturday. On Veterans Day, it will be displayed at the Church of the Incarnation.