Roadside Crosses & Memorials: Will the State Eliminate ‘Em?
Doesn’t matter where you drive in Michigan…highways, dirt roads, interstates, side roads, back roads…we see these everywhere: roadside crosses. When I pass one of these crosses, I feel bad for the family & friends who put them together. They must have loved those people very much.
The question that people have asked, “do they really signify where someone died?” The answer is yes. There is nothing sordid about them…they are simply memorials left by friends or family members of loved ones who died in road accidents.
These little tributes pop up unexpectedly no matter where you are…it makes you think “I wonder what happened in this spot?”
Roadside memorials have been going on for hundreds of years…probably more. It was common practice for travelers to bury someone in the same place where they died. In most of these cases, it was the most logical thing to do --- most journeyers couldn’t continue on their way, transporting the deceased by themselves or by horse, so they buried ‘em on the spot.
These miniature shrines can either be a simple cross, a gathering of flowers, a sign, plaque, or some memento that was an important part of the deceased’s life.
While most people are touched by these memorials, there are those few who claim they’re a hindrance to drivers who rubberneck, trying to get a good look. Those who oppose say they’re a driving hazard, and road crews have trouble working around them. With thousands of traffic deaths each year, there are more and more roadside memorials being put up. Some states are wondering what to do since there is such an influx of new roadside memorials…do they keep them or make up some new law that prohibits them?
For now, some states are coming up with their own laws to either do away with them or set a strict number of how many there should be.
What do YOU think?