For decades young men and women have answered the nations call to serve and protect the United States. “It’s so very appropriate that we never forget their sacrifice. There are national and state memorials,” said Chairman of the Farmington Area Veterans Memorial Committee, Leon Orr.
“Nothing brings awareness of those sacrifices home to us like a local memorial that we can see each day and remember the human sacrifices that have been made for us by our own young people and their families from the Farmington area.”
Planning for this project started in 2009 with the goal of constructing a substantial memorial that would permanently display honor to all military veterans of the Farmington area, with a main focus on those who gave their lives in military conflict.
“Farmington is one of the oldest communities in Dakota County and has one of the richest military histories of its veterans, past and present. Several attempts to have such a memorial in Farmington failed for a variety of reasons. The feelings were strong that this was the right time,” Orr said.
One focal point is the 10 foot wide, 5 foot high granite flag at the center of the memorial to signify the American flag as it is folded for military funerals. The flag is located along the North side of the memorial and mounted on a concrete wall. In front of the flag is a sloping granite tablet with the names and service information of the men and women in the Farmington community who lost their lives in military service.
The Veterans Memorial Committee had a historian find the death announcement newspaper clippings for each of the servicemen killed in action. Those clippings are posted right by the flag so everyone who comes to see the memorial can get a sense of who they were. “All other memorials just listed a name. We amplified the personal element by creating an enclosed display case on the opposite side of the entry sign in which we display an actual newspaper article detailing each death of each person listed on the front granite tablet. It’s not uncommon to see a tear on people’s faces when they enter the memorial and quickly take in the obvious meaning of the presentation,” Orr said. The memorial also includes Charcoal Black® split faces, capstones, bench cubes, and platforms. The entire project utilized roughly 504 square feet and used 294 granite pieces.
The memorial is surrounded by over 300 granite pavers with the name of veterans etched on top. Orr said the memorial has quickly become a community favorite.