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Pretty_Lilly's avatar

What is your opinion on roadside memorials ?

Asked by Pretty_Lilly (4655points) April 26th, 2010

I recall years ago when I lived in a different state, a local radio talk show host would often comment of his severe dislike for them, specially the ones with flower bouquets,balloons,cards and stuffed toys and would often advice his listeners,if they were to come across one to take it apart and bring it to the radio station for a prize. (T-shirt,concert tix,etc,,etc,)
*I always though:if I were to see someone taking apart a roadside memorial,I had set up in memory of a loved one,his/her family would end up erecting an additional memorial in their honor right next to the one,they were dismantling.

A friend’s mother often comments of how she believes they are absolutely unnecessary & unsightly !
Why would anyone get upset about them as long as they are not placed on their property ?

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15 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

This is new to me, there really is no reason to get upset at this. Maybe they are really huge environmentalists lol….?

AstroChuck's avatar

My wife and I just recently talked about this. I really hate them. But if it helps some people grieve then what the hell. Still, months later I see no need for them to be still there. By them it’s just a roadside distraction.

trailsillustrated's avatar

they make me sad and I spend the next hour of the trip wondering about the deceased

rebbel's avatar

What @AstroChuck said (if it helps some people grieve).
And they might work as a precaution: Watch out, dangerous traffic situation ahead.

njnyjobs's avatar

The fact that somebody died on that spot due to a road mishap would probably tell me that it could be a dangerous, accident-prone location. I see two opposing schools of thought that could happen: first, people who see the memorial realize the danger and would take it as hint to slow down and/or be careful driving…or second, they notice the memorial, get distracted by it and get into an accident of their own.

Personally, I see them as being inappropriate and an eyesore. I don’t mean to take away the memories from the people who lost a loved one, but there are far better and appropriate ways of doing so.

eden2eve's avatar

I agree with @AstroChuck . They are depressing to me, but I feel that if it helps those who are grieving, I can deal with that. The eyesore angle of the issue isn’t significant to me, as I think the grievers are more important than my enjoyment of the scenery.

More important is the opinion of the owners of the property. If it’s ok with them, I can’t complain. I do agree what it might sometimes make me think to be a little more cautious on that spot. But I do think there should be a shelf life on these things. They stop being a cautionary note and become obnoxious to me after a certain point.

Haleth's avatar

I never knew they were so hated. Seriously? There’s a busy intersection in downtown DC where a biker was hit by a truck. Her memorial was simple but sobering- a “ghost bike” that was painted white and chained to a post in that location. The city took it down after a few months, and another biker made more ghost bikes and put them up all over the neighborhood. (The city took those down, too.)

I always feel sad when I see the type of roadside memorials you guys are talking about in this thread, with the teddy bears, silk flowers, and candles. After a few weeks out in the weather, they look dirty and faded. I wish we could put something more permanent in places like that, like a plaque or a sign.

Coloma's avatar

Many of them in my community.

Nearly every road is a twisty narrow mountainy type road with no shoulder or deep ditches and drop offs into trees, cliffs,etc.

I don’t care for them myself, I think it is rather morose and distracting and think they can be dangers in and of themselves.

I don’t think canonizing the dead on public roads is appropriate.

DominicX's avatar

I don’t really see why they are an issue, but some people will make an issue out of anything.

Coloma's avatar


I don’t take issue, but since the question was asked I realized that my views are not in favor.

There is just something strange about building an alter on the side of the road, wouldn’t want my tragedy or that of a loved one to become a spectacle in the weeds.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I don’t notice them too much but I do think that the money people spent on the memorials, however little it is, could be better spent if donated to an organization like the American Red Cross or some other organization that would be able to help future accident victims.

TexasDude's avatar

They don’t really affect me in any way and I don’t care if people put them up, as long as they aren’t too distracting or dangerous in some way.

Nullo's avatar

I’m fine with them. They help the bereaved, and they serve as a warning.

kruger_d's avatar

Some people seek a connection to the death rather than to the life of their loved one. I think mostly they don’t want the loss to go unnoticed.

Seek's avatar

I didn’t have a problem with them when I first started noticing them, but now it drives me crazy – mostly because the same ones have been there, built bigger and higher, for years. I don’t want to say “get over it”, but I do want to say “find a more appropriate place”. I don’t know who Amanda was, or care why there’s a new High School Musical doll there every other week for the last three years. Didn’t she have a headstone, or a favourite tree or something?

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