Roadside Memorials

I can't stand them.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm sorry that someone died.  I'm sorry that it was tragic. and, I'm sorry for your loss.

I really don't even have a problem with a memorial.  Feel free to post pictures, cards, posters, flowers, teddy bears, and Jesus candles at the site of the crash.  It serves to remind everyone of the tragedy and the need to drive/walk/bike safely.  But, enough is enough...after two weeks, can we please clean up all the junk that clutters the highways and byways.

memorial.jpg

On my way to/from work each day, I pass one particular "memorial." (see photo). The caretakers of this site have placed a large wooden cross (maybe 3 feet) with inscriptions of the dead person's name.  They have even attached reflectors so that you can even see this at night.  That is not all...they have repainted the cross, they have poured a concrete slab to protect the cross from being vandalized (it has been taken down several times), and they have planted a mini garden next to the site.  They hoe the weeds, replant the flowers and often replace the virgin mary candles.  Essentially, they have created a private grave site on the side of the road.  And here is the kicker - it is across the street from a large and beautifully maintained cemetery.

Again, I have no problem with graves, memorials, remembering the dead, etc...and I can even tolerate a roadside memorial for a short amount of time.  But, why do we have to create permanent shrines for each and every traffic accident?

I guess my biggest issue is that these memorials look cheap and cheesy.  I'm sure this is a cultural/religious issue as well, because I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on the dead...I don't believe their spirit rests on the spot of their death...and I don't feel a particular closeness to an individual when I visit their grave.

Since I can't rip everyone of these out of the ground, I'll use this blog to begin my comments.  Maybe you can comment and let me know if I am completely off base.

Quietly Making Noise,

Fletch