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Old 12-29-2013, 02:11 PM   #29
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I seem to recall a CBS news story in the late 80s or early 90s, where, the state was forbidden to spend tax dollars on the white roadside crosses (anywhere from one to a dozen or so on a pole beside the road at the site of a fatal accident, with each cross representing one fatality). The American Legion took over, erecting and maintaining them, as they felt the crosses were the best way to warn people to slow down....
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:48 PM   #30
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I can remember as a youngster (back in the 50's) driving on road trips and seeing signs that were sponsored by some organization -- and I can't remember what it was -- that were white X's with the label "X marks the spot" -- to denote a road fatality. Sometimes there would be a whole cluster of them in one place marking multiple deaths. This had a very powerful impact on me. Does anyone else remember them?
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:57 PM   #31
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Quote:
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I can remember as a youngster (back in the 50's) driving on road trips and seeing signs that were sponsored by some organization -- and I can't remember what it was -- that were white X's with the label "X marks the spot" -- to denote a road fatality. Sometimes there would be a whole cluster of them in one place marking multiple deaths. This had a very powerful impact on me. Does anyone else remember them?
I recall very generic white crosses here and there. They had no names or personal identity (not that I recall anyway). Maybe those were placed by an organization interested in traffic safety, or even the state. I don't see them anymore. Now, it's the highly personalized ones. Driving home today (Needles to Cat City), I was also reminded of another related phenomena -- memorial statements on the rear windows of cars, like this: "Bobby Jones -b. 4.16.89 - d. 12.15.08 - Rest in Peace." Usually in that white vinyl material over blackened windows. I have been seeing a lot of that lately. And, even some that are tattooed.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:13 PM   #32
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Interesting discussion.

The fact that someone was killed on the highway is not particularly interesting; what is interesting is the mindset of those who feel a need to erect these grief props. A bit of guilt, perhaps? Did they ever tell the deceased that they loved them?

As Protagonist wrote, what one did while alive is what matters. Like attracts like. If the deceased was a kind, decent, and good person, s/he was undoubtedly treated the same by others. That is what endures. Unfortunately, some families are neglectful in this respect.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:40 PM   #33
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I believe roadside memorials came to the US in large numbers in the last 20 years or so from Mexico. Now they have spread all over the continent. I understand why people do them, though I never would. Like Protagonist so well said, it is the sum of the good works we leave behind that are the best memorials.

Some states take them away claiming they are a distraction. I suppose they are to some, for death is very distracting. They don't tell me anything about highway safety since one bad driver can kill himself anywhere.

Since so many people are cremated now, there is no cemetery for most of them, and the roadside memorial may be the only public memorial. That's fine with me, but please don't put one on my land. I guess I feel it is kind of creepy and I wish they'd find another way to remember.

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Old 12-29-2013, 06:17 PM   #34
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Well said, Gene.

We live in a copy-cat society. One that worships a celebrity cartel over individualistic deed.

I think the death of Princess Diana and the subesquent onslaught of flowers, balloons, trinkets, candles, and homemade signs had a lot to do with the instigation of this social cult.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:26 PM   #35
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There's an interesting slant running through several comments here. To paraphrase them: "The sum of one's life is what counts, not a memorial afterwords." What's interesting about that comment is that it runs completely counter to our new found national adoration of mass memorializations, which began perhaps with the Oklahoma City bombing, and really took off with the 9/11 event, and has continued in tone with all the school shootings. It also runs counter to our longstanding desire to publicly memorialize soldiers, certain leaders, and generals. In other words, memorialization seems welcome and appropriate in some cases, and not in others. And, as we all know, the "make shift memorial" consisting of flowers and candles and teddy bears at the site of celebrity wrecks or the shooting of children has become a cultural fixture.

Thanks for mentioning in the connection to Mexico. I know there is much more public celebration of the dead in that culture, and it would kind of make sense that this is related to that cultural practice. Just guessing of course.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:38 PM   #36
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If regulatory authorities don't take steps to control this, I can see the next gen approach arriving very soon. (think uTube adds paying the poster)

We will have small (to begin with, remember CB's limited to 2.5W?) solar powered transmitting devices that will flood the AM/FM band waves as you drive by with the sad tale of (the most wonderful, giving, loving, etc., etc.) "any name" deceased. This will then progress to advertisers paying to flaunt the latest "don't get old" miracle drug available in delicious liquid form at the next "dunkin 00's".

I will go back to my earlier post and suggest Municipalities/States should require a permit, restricted to a limited time, to post any sign on a public highway and then it is removed permanently. This will be a new form of income to the governing body and, with fines for not removing the said sign, the new money collected could go towards improving some of the failing infrastructure that exists across NA.

The churches and private Cemetery's are all in need of money, and I would think they could put some pressure on authorities to control this eyesore on the highways. If private campsites can lobby to ban campers from Walmarts with great success, I would think the Churches/ private Cemetery's should see the light?

As I pointed out in the earlier post, with todays electronic abilities, one could just post the accident location on line with a Google Map link, and then those interested can look at it from the comfort of their home.
note to self: (research hot new business venture!)

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Old 12-29-2013, 07:01 PM   #37
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Dave, the idea of a transmitter hidden in the roadside flowers telling us all about Joe or Mary's wonderful life is beyond creepy. I might rip the radio out of the dashboard and drive into a tree while doing so—then on your radio will be all the posts I made on the Forum. I think I need a drink.

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Old 12-29-2013, 07:27 PM   #38
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Since Airstreamers are on the road so much, perhaps they should add this codicil to their will, if they so wish: No roadside memorial.

In the case of yours truly though, you may erect this epitaph amidst the remnants of crushed aluminum and scattered rivets:

Here lies the remains of the Fly at Night
She stepped on the gas
Instead of the brake

The ending twas quite a fright.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:12 PM   #39
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There's one right up the road from us. Six small crosses.

It was a family here in their private aircraft last spring. The winds were very high, and the father was warned not to try to take off. A warning he ignored. Once the craft cleared the runway, the wind caught it, flipping it over, the whole landing right beside the road, cockpit down. All died.


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Old 12-30-2013, 01:28 AM   #40
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There's one right up the road from us. Six small crosses.

It was a family here in their private aircraft last spring. The winds were very high, and the father was warned not to try to take off. A warning he ignored. Once the craft cleared the runway, the wind caught it, flipping it over, the whole landing right beside the road, cockpit down. All died.


Lynn
He wasn't much of a pilot to second guess the crosswind and jeopardize his family like that.

One of my friends flies something a lot bigger, and has been doing it for a long time. He seldom gets excited about anything anymore - except a severe crosswind. That's the only thing about a trip he'll mention. Then it's back to ho-hum whatever.

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Old 12-30-2013, 07:44 AM   #41
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Yes, all agree that the man was a fool and killed his family as a result. Everybody knew that the winds were howling that day, and it was a crosswind for the runway. The airport manager tried to warn them away from attempting the take off, obviously to no avail. Of course, I'm sure it didn't help that this is a high elevation airport (8,400 feet), so practically no power, either.


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Old 12-31-2013, 08:05 AM   #42
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