Usually just a glimpse at highway speeds but you know what they are from experience. It’s hard really to see much more than a flash of color because where they are the traffic is at its worst and fastest.
And that’s just the point, I guess.
They are the roadside memorials for those killed by traffic accidents. And lately it seems like I see them more and more.
I can understand the need to grieve those lost and to want to mark the spot where their spirit left the earth seems kind of OK to me. But, and it’s a big but, how far is this going to go?
At first I noticed a few of these little shrines. And the operative word there was little. A few flowers. A handmade sign with name of the loved one. But the character and size of these unauthorized monuments is changing. They are becoming rather more elaborate with big crosses and photographs encased in plastic and even stuffed animals.
I am sure this all looks nice when it’s first placed but after being splashed with slush and rain the deflated balloons and soggy Teddy bears nailed to the crosses hanging by one paw look a little morbid.
And the other problem, if you want to call it a problem, is there are now often four or five of these traffic death markers in one place on particularly bad stretches of road.
It can be distracting.
The laws in some states prohibit this and even suggest a fine for placing such markers.
Of course you know there is money to be made here as well.
A quick eBay search gave me this chilling little description:
Brand new stainless steel crosses. They are 33″ tall x 22″ wide. There are many creative ways that you can decorate these. What a better way than to mark a loved one’s spot of demise than with a beautiful shiny stainless steel cross that is perfectly cut and flawlessly designed and manufactured. It can also be used as a lawn or garden decoration. Think about the strength and high resistance to the natural elements that Stainless Steel has. It is always beautiful and never needs more than a wipe once in a while.
99.99 buy it now.
There is also a website called Roadside Memorials that warns you before you buy the wooden cross with photo holder that they will not be responsible for any accidents or injuries due to the placement of your cross.
In Delaware they are working on building the Highway memorial garden where you can purchase a brick inscribed with your loved ones name.
Here’s where it gets kind of weird to me.
Isn’t there already a memorial garden for those pour souls who lost their lives on the highway?
I think we call them graveyards.