Sunday, December 16, 2007

I'm Confused...

Along the side of the highway I take to work every day, there is a memorial of sorts. A large sign with a name, innumerable teddy bears and bouquets, and assorted other things are nailed to, and piled around a tree. This location is where a local person was killed in a collision.

What makes me wonder, is why people want to go there. When someone I know is killed in a crash, or shooting, or some other horrific way, the last thing I want to do is go to the place where that person's life ended. Especially on a regular basis. Once, maybe.

It makes no sense to me that his family members repeatedly go to that place. Why not go to someplace that brings them better memories. Remember his life, not his death. I don't go to the places where my friends have died. I drive by some of them every day, but I don't stop and stare. If I want to think about them, I go to the cemetery, or I look at photos. I just don't get it.

And these things don't just go away. There are some of these "memorials" along the highway that have been there for YEARS. They are obviously regularly maintained and cared for. I have seen street corners covered with flowers for days after a shooting. This I can understand. But to build something there and maintain it forever seems a bit, I don't know, excessive. Why do you want to memorialize the place your loved one was KILLED?

Am I the only one who thinks this is strange?


Officer Wright said...

I've never seen a 24/7 stack of flowers and teddy bears by a scene like that.

I have seen plenty that pop up around the holidays, or random times of the year which makes me think it must've been their birthday.

I think it's pretty weird too.

Liz said...

It makes me think of when my coworker fell and broke his face chasing some kids who'd been doing drugs. He left his blood and some of his scalp and hair on the pavement. It was there for MONTHS. His Mom wanted to see where he got hurt. Why? I dunno. But he took her and she saw the bloodstains and got sick. Almost passed out. Imagine how much worse it would be at the place where someone was killed? I don't get it either.

USAincognito said...

Here, we have actually had to respond to accidents caused when people were too busy staring at those roadside memorials that they crashed into another car or drove off the road and hit a tree. I personally see them as a distraction to other drivers and wish they were not allowed.

thegreatvinceby said...

The purposes behind each roadside memorial probably vary, but I think a lot of times the families want them to serve as reminders that life is precious, and maybe inspire drivers to take more precautions to ensure that they avoid a similar fate.

There's a street near my house that is really fun -- and dangerous -- to drive fast on, but the little white cross and flowers at one end of it remind me to slow down. Whether that was their intent or not, I don't know; but I'll bet it's helped prevent a good share of accidents just by making drivers a bit more thoughtful about what they're doing.