FARMINGTON — Vera Johnson seeks community input and help to bring a community memorial to fruition. The memorial will honor those affected by the Farmington Explosion last September.
Vera Johnson, an artisan who owns Vera’s Iron and Vine in downtown Farmington was, like all of us in the region, profoundly affected by the explosion of the LEAP building in September of 2019. She had a vision to honor and memorialize Captain Michael Bell who died in the explosion, the six other firefighters who were injured, and Larry Lord, the LEAP employee who was gravely injured and was responsible for evacuating the building.
At the request of the LEAP Explosion Fund committee, Vera was asked to submit a proposal for the committee to consider. United Way of the Tri-Valley Area currently holds the funds raised and administered by the LEAP Explosion Fund committee. The proposal was enthusiastically accepted and up to $10,000 was approved.
The proposed idea is for an interactive “Healing Bells Memorial Sculpture” to be installed in Bjorn Park in Farmington, directly across from the site of the explosion. It would be made out of fire extinguishers that are repurposed to create a series of 7 bells that visitors can ring/chime. Musically healing sounds that represent the wind and breath of those who came to help at a time of need. Vera also intends to engage schools and children to draw pictures that could be chosen to use on the storyboard that tells the history of the event. A brick path is envisioned as well.

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