Maine Loves Sandy Hook Memorial 

A 14-hundred pound plus present took off from Seal Cove Monday morning.The granite memorial is headed to Newtown, Connecticut where it will be presented to the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.As Joy Hollowell shows us, inspiration for the project came from all ages.=====The names are what capture your attention first. 20 boys and girls, in bright, Crayola colors and child-like font. They are the youngest victims of Newtown, Connecticut, and the same age as Richard Gray’s daughter, Jayden. When the former Gouldsboro resident decided to make a memorial, it was his first grader that set the tone.”When she wrote the letters the first time, she wrote all the letters in different colors and she said- Daddy, that would be neat wouldn’t it and I said yeah, it would be neat, baby,” says Gray from his current home in Florida.”We were going to do block font for the whole thing and that’s when his daughter stepped in and said, ‘no, no, this is how I want it.'”Noah Mohr has a daughter of his own. When his friend Richard Gray contacted the lead designer of Mohr Signs in Bar Harbor to help design the monument, the answer was easy.”I can’t even put into words how it makes us feel to be a part of this,” says Mohr.Brian Harkins heard about the memorial on Facebook. The mason worker volunteered to cut the stone.”That’s got to be the hardest thing to deal with in the world,” says the Seal Cove resident. “I mean, I’ve got 6 kids and 12 grandkids, I can’t imagine losing any of them,” he adds, choking up with emotion.In addition to the students, the names of the six school staffers who gave their lives that December day, are etched in gold. At the bottom are the words, “Forever in Our Hearts, Always in Our Minds.” Gray says the final look came from the granite itself.”When I first met Brian (Harkins) at the (Sullivan) quarry, he said, ‘the stone is going to talk to us.’ He said ‘the stone will tell us what it’s saying.’ And I’m thinking to myself, ‘this guy drank his breakfast.’ But there was this heart drying in the stone, you could see the heart, and I said, ‘well, I guess I know what we’re going with.'”The work isn’t finished yet. The stone now heads to Culter, where Adam Meyer has created an equally impressive oval base, complete with 26 stainless steel angels and matching lights. The granite for both the memorial and the base was donated by a quarry in Sullivan. The finished tribute will make at least 15 stops at fire houses in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island before arriving in Newtown, Connecticut where it will be presented to the town.====Gray is hoping to raise $25,000 for the memorial, but he says the donations are slow to come in. If you’d like more information on the memorial including where it will be making stops as well as how to donate to the project, you can log onto maine loves sandy hook dot com. you’ll also find a link there to their Facebook page.