MIAMI (CBSMiami) — This Veteran’s day a collection of soldiers’ boots from overseas was turning into a work of art in South Florida for the world to see.
The showcase is called, Footsteps to Freedom. You take steps everyday and the next time you do, consider walking a mile in the boots of soldiers.
They are boots of soldiers who have fought and some who never made it back.
Activist Nicole Pritchett held a pair of Wien boots and said, “These boots that I’m holding in my hands are boots of Dimitri del Castillo.”
Castillo was a 24-year old soldier in Afghanistan who was a West Point graduate. His unit was attacked.
Nicole said, “and after he was shot, he continued staying on the radio to give them coordinates and information and Dimitri del Castillo died that day…wearing these boots.”
Nicole’s brother, Wes Pritchett, was on duty when his classmate and one of his best friends was killed.
Capt. Wes Pritchett with the U.S. Army said, “she told me one of the worst and most cutting pieces of news I’ve ever heard in my entire life and it was that Dimitri had been killed. I crumbled in a ball and started crying.”
The dozens of boots at the Pritchett’s house on Key Biscayne tell a number of stories. They are now part of Footsteps to Freedom.
The exhibit will be on display during Art Basel. Artists from all over the world are helping tell the story.
Nicole said, “Incredible artists ……transformed these boots into works of art and we’re going to be displaying these boots on an invisible staircase kind of going towards the heavens.”
Soldiers like Cedric King are supporting the message though his boots didn’t make it.
Sgt. Cedric King with the U.S. Army said, “when the bomb went off…. I looked down and I see my legs were mangled”
Cedric now walks with the help of two prosthetic legs. He has since run a marathon and helps tell the story of the boots of his fellow soldiers who are having to carry on the mission no matter what happened to them or their best friend.
Wes said, “I knew I had a job to do.. next day… next week .. next month.”
So when you walk, consider the stories the boots tell.
After Art Basel the boots will be auctioned off. The money will go to the nonprofit, iPads For Soldiers. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the nonprofit.
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