Friday, 9 September 2011

Lanark County Roadside Memorial

Local, Roadside Memorials
In my drives around the province, from Ottawa to Muskoka, to southern Ontario, I have spotted quite a few.

There is controversy surrounding one near our home in Lanark County. It is quite large, with cowboy hat, and two crosses.

The farm landowner doesn't like it. S/he has added some bales of hay and a trailer to try and minimize its sight. Those selling property nearby find it difficult to see.

Perth Courier
The mother of the dead youth, Cindy Whyte, claims it is her right to put up the memorial. I disagree. Again, to focus on the place where the young man died is truly negative, especially to me, a stranger who drives by. I deal with death every day, on my own time, in ways I can handle it. For parents who have lost children, knowing this young man lost his life there, may be too difficult to bear on a daily drive to work, or shopping. This is a difficult thing to pass while driving.  Focus on a life, not a death. Of course, those, like me, who decline to complain about it, including the property owners, our voices are not heard. It is time to speak out.

As one mum wrote in Australia:

Bens Mum

My son has just been killed on his motor bike and if anyone puts a cross at the place he died I have vowed to kick it over and destroy it. I do not want to have to drive by this place and have to see a lonely white cross. It says nothing about the son I had at morbid ..way too sad..for myself and everyone who knew him. I just drove back from the city to our home town and passed cross after cross and each one hit me in the heart and was distracting me from my driving....dangerous too.

A quote from an officer who attended to the Newtown shootings:

Reliving Horror and Faint Hope at Massacre Site

One detective, who was driving with his wife and two sons, passed a roadside memorial on Route 25 two weeks after the shooting, and began sobbing uncontrollably. “I just lost it right there, I couldn’t even drive,” the detective, Jason Frank, said.

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