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Old 12-28-2013, 03:11 PM   #15
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I wonder also, if there is some correlation with the increase in public display of private lives through Facebook and Twitter. Is this an extension of that feeling to have the world know more about "me" and "mine?"

I also wonder if people are just feeling lost, alienated, unimportant, forlorn, forsaken? I don't think these people have any malicious thoughts or intents. They are clearly in need of something that these memorials provide. I am pretty neutral about it. They don't bother me in any way. Nor do I stop and pray. I do tend to stop and carefully look at the elaborate ones, and have collected a lot of photographs. In the great scheme of things in the universe, does it mean something when I learn about little Joey, his soccer team, his favorite toys, his favorite songs, movies, who is friends were? I don't know.

I don't think the displays are any more or less distracting than billboards, "Flea Market", "Home Made Honey", "Garage Sale" signs on the road. It does seem to be a new phenomenon. I never saw this in the 1980s, or even in the 90s. If I had to pin a date on it, I would say 2001. That's when national "memorializing" became what seems to be almost an obsession with media. Every month there's a "reading of the names, ringing of the bells" for some list of victims or another. I don't know - maybe this is related to that?
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:29 PM   #16
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I am indifferent about them, generally.

However, there is one in my immediate area that bothers me somewhat. The deceased driver was dead drunk when he wrapped his car around a telephone pole. It was later reported that he had numerous drunk-driving arrests and was driving w/o a valid licence when he made his rendevous with the pole.

His roadside "memorial" is a caustic reminder of his flagrant disregard for the lives/safety of others. Added to that is the cost inflicted by drunk drivers upon our public auto insurance/healthcare programmes.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:50 PM   #17
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Makes you wonder who maintains that memorial?
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
Makes you wonder who maintains that memorial?
His DUI lawyer?
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:47 AM   #19
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I would hope that the state does, if for no other reason than as a reminder that you may be stupid and kill the innocent but eventually you will be the lost one! My anger for drunk drivers has no bounds! I don't drink but I also don't feel it is an excuse for carelessness.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:46 AM   #20
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Drunk driving is maddening as it is at the top of the list of preventable offenses. But even a driver with a long record of offenses is the child of some parent, perhaps someone's sibling or spouse - and as heinous as the action is - is still beloved by someone who can't tolerate, defend or even understand that behavior. Perhaps that person who loved the drunk driver feels that placing the memorial will cause people to talk about it (as we all are now) and serving to remind people how avoidable this kind of tragedy is. Or maybe they just grieve their loss and don't know how else to express it. Hard to say...could be lots of reasons.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:07 AM   #21
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Some smaller details. I also wonder if these memorials are in addition to a gravesite, or a replacement for one?
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:26 AM   #22
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I have little interest in roadside memorials. In my mind, the only fitting memorial is what the deceased himself left behind as evidence of his own good works, not what survivors put up to mark his passing. When I see a white cross by the side of the road, I ignore it and drive on, without ever wondering who died there or how it happened. I don't find it distracting in the slightest.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:38 AM   #23
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This is no doubt the bigdaddy of all roadside memorials in the USA. The practice of building monuments to the dead is both universal and old. You can't drive through any town and not discover some form of physical memorial to someone. I think it's clear that memorializing is a very important social process.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:39 AM   #24
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Just got back from Mexico and they're all over the place and quite elaborate. Here are a few.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:53 AM   #25
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In New Mexico there is a law preventing disturbing roadside memorials.

Another type of memorial are ghost bikes marking the site of a bicycle fatality
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:57 AM   #26
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Lumatic,
Thanks for posting those. Very elaborate. I've never seen one with a structure over it. I have seen some ghost bikes though. I wonder what the limits are under than law? Say, a huge 50-foot monument? :-)
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:41 AM   #27
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The three "killers" on the road are 1) alcohol; 2) speed; and 3) inattention ( read: sleep depravation, fiddling with gadgets in the vehicle, e.g.)

Each cross I see on the roadside simply reminds me of some family's loss, how grateful I am to have "another day", and to pay more attention to the road.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:08 PM   #28
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Poor road condition, bridge collapses, surprise deer or other animals, in California airplanes!? (There must be a solution for this one)
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