Hallowed Ground

Forgive my recent morbidity, but Halloween is coming, and the dead are on my mind. Tomorrow is their day, after all.
This evening on my way home from work I saw a woman (a mother, an aunt?) placing a new wreath and organizing items on the impromptu memorial on Florin where an accident claimed the lives of two young men on a late night drive–too fast, too dark, and too much alcohol are the purported reasons for the crash. It’s a treacherous curve even in daylight.

I notice many of these types of memorials lately. One is on a telephone pole on W Street at 12th (not for a car crash but for a murder), on the right hand side. A young woman by the name of Mary Ourk was murdered there in June. As far as I know, the murder is still unsolved.

There’s another one of these memorials on South Land Park Drive in front of Vic’s grocery store. It’s right near the bus stop. This is where four people were killed in a head-on collision in the daytime in March of this year.

It has been a memorial strewn year. I wish there were less of these memorials popping up–instead of what seems to be continuously increasing numbers. Some losses though, are hard to forget.

Even though so many changes have occurred downtown in Sacramento’s Fremont Park, I still recall vividly the day a tree branch crushed a baby boy. They tore the tree down and planted a new one. There’s no wreath there, no photo, no candles. No balloons. But the ghost of that tragedy lingers. We still remember. It has been 6 years, but the memory lingers.

1 Comment so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on October 31st, 2007 @ 8:45 am

    I think your last part highlights the real difference, or the real question: are there more deaths or just more displays of public rememberance in the forms of faded fake flowers and grocery store devotional candles?

    Not to take away from the memory of the dead. In some cases, it makes sense to mark a stretch of particularly dangerous road – maybe it makes the next driver slow down and recall his mortality.

    But it’s largely cultural as well – some cultures celebrate death (and I don’t mean rah-rah celebrate, I mean, observe and mark) differently from others. Check out a cemetary. The difference in grave decoration at holiday times can vary by heritage, along clear lines.



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