Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another Roadside Memorial

While I was out and about Burnaby earlier this semester, I remember my mom pointing out a roadside memorial. “Someone died there,” she said, gesturing toward the post. A pink ribbon held a bunch of flowers onto the pole, and while I don't remember the colour of the flowers, whether the post was made of wood or metal, or if there was a picture or name attached to the roadside memorial, I remember that the flowers weren't wilted or dried out: they had been placed fairly recently.

Many roadside memorials are anonymous: the victim is not identified. Are these roadside memorials created so that strangers notice, or so that its creators will remember what happened? You would think that the people who were affected by this person's death would remember, but what if they need to remind themselves? Is a memorial an act of respect and recognition of loss, a statement against the cause of death, or something else entirely?

My elementary school vice-principal's niece died in a car accident. Although I'd never met her or known anything about her, my mom pointed to a light-post with a ribbon and flowers many years ago, and told me what happened.

I found it on Google maps.

It's at 8046 NO. 2 Rd, Richmond, BC, Canada facing west.
You'll see a light-post with a do-not-stop sign. At the bottom of the pole is a pink ribbon, much like the one I saw that day in Burnaby. If you zoom in, you'll see a brown-yellow basket with what looks like a single white flower inside.

Someone died there.

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