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March 16, 2004 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Roadside Memorials on the American Highway
posted by anastasiav (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Related Links::
Roadside memorials :: The Road As Shrine
First International Symposium on Roadside Memorials
Roadside Memorials of America :: Roadise Memorials in Ireland
Roadside Memorials Growing – Safety Hazards?
Spontaneous Shrines: A Modern Response to Tragedy and Disaster
posted by anastasiav at 3:47 PM on March 16, 2004


I posted the roadsidememorial.org link a while back, FYI. Interesting discussion then.
posted by GaelFC at 4:21 PM on March 16, 2004


I got the distinct feeling, looking at those photos, that I'd seen some of them before. This sort of memorial is quite prevalent where I grew up; I never thought I would see them on a website.

I have to admire the photographer's sense of composition. Each photograph feels unique, despite following a similar theme.
posted by jecraft at 4:32 PM on March 16, 2004


I respect your opinion but couldn't disagree more. Those photographs look as dead as the people people being memorialized . . . slick as stock art, unfeeling as a postcard. A roadside memorial is raw, crudely but powerfully haunted not only by both the departed, but by the survivors who have marked the spot with an "X" -- these photos don't go deeper than cliche.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 5:21 PM on March 16, 2004


wrote a little fast there . . . "haunted not only by the departed . . . "
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 5:22 PM on March 16, 2004


Hawaii has many, many roadside memorials. They are also surprisingly well maintained, and are maintained for years. A few of them are reflected on these websites. One can easily gauge the deadliness of a particular stretch of road (and we have some infamous ones) by the number of these you find. They're distracting, sure, but I'll take them over a billboard anyday.

The ones at which people leave beer bottles are a little odd, to me, considering that alcohol is frequently the reason the memorial is there in the first place.

The latest practice here (and I presume elsewhere) that I haven't seen heavily studied are people memorializing loved ones on their cars, strangely most often on the back windows of obnoxious, expensive SUVs. Whenever I see "In Loving Memory" on a Cadillac Escalade, I keep thinking, "What, did the life insurance pay for that thing?"
posted by pzarquon at 10:01 PM on March 16, 2004


There is also this thread, which I point out not to complain about double posting, but because the three threads, altogether, provide a pretty nice resource for someone researching this subject, with a lot of different links in all three.
posted by taz at 10:55 PM on March 16, 2004


Great links, thanks. I am very interested in this phenomenon. I think it's strange that this occurs - no one memoralizes the chair that Granny died in, for example.
posted by agregoli at 6:51 AM on March 17, 2004


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