Thoughts on a Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial

Today I completed a survey about a Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial . As a landscape designer I want to share my thoughts to aid in discussion.

I vision an outdoor memorial at a park in town that is not the sole purpose of the park. The memorial should be a place you visit when you want to reflect on those lost but are not be reminded if you are trying to forget for a day.

What happened that day will always be in our mind; sometimes we need a break from thinking about it.

The memorial should be at a park that receives traffic so those we lost are not forgotten.

The location of the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial should be selected before design begins. Let the memorial fit the site rather than force the memorial on the site.

I recommend the memorial to be built at Fairfield Hills at the top of the hill. I see it off the main path so those who want to reflect are not interrupted.  The views from the top of the hill are amazing and reflecting while up there would be very soothing.

I envision the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial not separating educators from children. Everyone was a victim on that day.  The names of the educators can be in a different font than the children but they should not be separate.

All victims had a lot of life left to live.

I envision the victims’ names written in a random fashion, not a list, on the monument. I see names carved into granite built into a classic New England stone wall gently curving in front of viewers.

I see a quiet place with benches and shade to view the memorial.

The memorial should NOT incorporate modern architecture. It should be timeless.  Natural stone, natural stone or brick paving and classic landscape design.  Not the latest fad in landscape materials.

The memorial should be designed with maintenance in mind. Someone is going to have to weed the gardens, pick up the trash, cut back the perennials, cut the lawn, etc.  Rather than over building a memorial save some funds for maintenance so it can look just as good in 10 years as the day it is completed.

Thank you for listening to my thoughts on a Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial.