August 5, 2002
Roadside memorials don't ruin a country drive
This is a response to a letter that was published in the July 22 Letters to the Editor that was entitled "SR 203 should be a nice drive in the country without reminders of death."
I understand wanting to express an opinion, but when that opinion deals with the death of another person's loved one, some sensitivity toward their feelings should be considered. The memorial that was picked apart by the author of that letter belonged to Dennis Murray of Carnation who was a husband and the father of three girls. As a citizen of the same town, a little compassion for his friends and family should have been a factor in writing such an insulting letter. Did the idea that maybe the amazing memorial was put together because he was loved by so many enter the mind of this individual?
Some people may not have a burial site or personal areas at a cemetery for those who are grieving the loss to visit. It was a lie for that person to say that they are sympathetic to those who are grieving a loss because if they were then their letter would not have singled out the memorial for a man who died a couple of months ago. If they cared as they said they did they would have not included the sarcastic and insulting comments such as there being more flowers at Dennis Murray's memorial than at your local floral shop, or how it is more decorated than the Carnation cemetery.
The author of that letter is not only unsympathetic but also insensitive and inconsiderate. How selfish they were to say that the beautiful site Dennis Murray's family and friends created in his memory is a distraction from their nice country drive.
There is a roadside memorial on the way through Preston that honors and remembers those who lost their lives on Sept. 11. Is that too morbid as well or is that one not so distracting? It is sad to know that some people out there don't understand the deeper meaning behind roadside memorials. They are there to honor and remember the special, irreplaceable people who lost their lives.
I also drive Highway 203 daily and I can see the feelings of sadness and grief behind every cross, every candle, every flower, and every American flag that I pass by. Rather than being disgusted by locals remembering someone they love and miss, I find myself slowing down and being more careful. Perhaps if those like the author of the letter would open their hearts and mind they too could see the importance and true purpose behind every roadside memorial.
Rachel Greenhalgh and Jill Murray, Carnation