Roadside shrines 12

This post may seem cold and insensitive to some. I don’t mean it that way. I just notice things and want to vent a little. In recent years I’ve noticed an increasing trend toward roadside shrines or memorials at the site of fatal traffic accidents. I appreciate that people want to remember their deceased loved ones, nothing wrong with that. I have a couple of issues with these memorials though. First off, although probably minor they are another roadside distraction for drivers. The last thing drivers need is yet another along the side of the road that grabs their attention away from the task at hand. Between phone calls, screaming kids, and the plethora of signs advertising some huge sale at practically every intersection, yet another thing that has people wondering that is for is the last thing most drivers need. The other that I think bugs me more, is that these little memorials stay there for years on end. The flowers, teddy bears, wreaths and other stuff are obviously being replenished at fairly regular intervals. Many of these sites are along major freeways. Having people go out and stop alongside an interstate is always dangerous. It’s bad enough to have to do it if you have a flat tire or some other malfunction. To do it to put out or replenish a memorial is an unnecessary risk. Also strapping a dozen bears to a roadside utility pole costs some money. Nothing is ultimately accomplished by this. Instead of spending the money on teddy bears or flowers to tie to a pole, take the money and give it to some worthy cause in the name of the person who died. Instead of spending your time and effort and possibly risking your own life on maintaining the memorial, go volunteer somewhere and help living people who need help. Remember the person in your heart and memories, because most of the people who drive past that memorial don’t know who it’s for and don’t care. Let the memory of a dead loved one live on in some good works instead.

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12 thoughts on “Roadside shrines

  • Sarah

    Might you have had in mind that craaaazy-over-the-top one at the intersection of Ellsworth and Golfside??? What’s that all about?

    If you’re going to line an entire telephone pole with fresh Pooh plush toys, you should at least put a sign explaining what the deal is.

  • Sam Post author

    Sarah, see that particular one all the time is what prompted me to write the post, since that one is particularly egregious. But I see these things all the time, and semmingly more so in recent years. The accident that prompted that memorial happened about 2 or 3 years ago when some guy was struck and killed while crossing the street there. It happened late at night and the exact details escape me at the moment. Unfortunately the AA News only makes 2 weeks of archives available on line so I can’t look it up but it was written up in there.

  • Scott

    Well it is that at some level those people harbor a hidden dark desire that somebody else will eventually be killed in an accident at that exact same location.

    Whether that is because they want company or want somebody else to keep the ‘shrine’ going I don’t know!