Mobile tribute to American military to be assembled in Omaha

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 11:36 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - An enormous puzzle with thousands of heavy pieces is being assembled here in Omaha. One that stands up to the elements and pays tribute to those who serve our nation and communities.

The welding of Tim Lampros wasn’t ‘Plan A.’

“We’re creating something that’s never been done before,” said Lampros.

After years as a firefighter and paramedic, he shifted to Hollywood and learned the business, especially lighting and props.

“'X Files.' ’24.' ‘Titanic.’ ‘Gone in 60 Seconds.’ Can’t remember them all. There’s so many,” said Lampros.

For him, it was always about safety on the set. A creative spark re-emerged over time.

“I started goofing around in my studio. I was cutting steel -- animal pieces, palm trees, dolphins,” said Lampros.

His work got him noticed and then his background and his newfound passion merged.

Tim Lampros created this giant wall of stainless-steel badges and glass honoring the fallen of the Los Angeles Police Department.

“After the unveiling, it went boom and everybody said they had to have one,” said Lampros.

Usually, it happens the other way. But Tim Lampros moved from Los Angeles, California, to Omaha, Nebraska, a year-and-a-half ago to chase the next dream.

“I turned on the radio and they said it was the coldest day in 100 years. And I said, ‘No kidding.’ I didn’t own a coat,” said Lampros.

In this generic industrial garage in Omaha.

“You can see the stealth fighter here with the eagle head and claws,” said Lampros.

He’s turning thousands of pounds of stainless steel into a mobile art project.

“This will last 1,000 years,” said Lampros.

Rod Edwards, Director of Development said, “We want everyone to know this is an Omaha project -- happening right in Omaha.”

The idea: to honor every branch of the military -- plus police and fire with intricate layers of detail. The centerpiece is the presidential seal.

“We want a positive, patriotic tribute to them - so it makes people stop and think about the sacrifices made to keep us safe,” said Edwards.

Next year he’ll take what’s called “America’s Wall of Honor” on the road so millions of people can experience its power and perspective firsthand.

“This will be 17 layers when it’s done,” said Lampros.

So that all that cold steel eventually transmits warmth.

“If I could put a name on it -- gratitude. I’m grateful,” said Lampros.

Depending on where the pandemic stands next year America’s Wall of Honor will begin touring the country in April.

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