2003-01-04 / Letters

No Residential Memorials!

No Residential Memorials!

Dear Editor;

The crash of flight 587 was a tragic incident that caused unbearable pain to so many families. When a plane goes down, due to the number of passengers and crewmembers, the death toll is overwhelming.

When lives are lost in car accidents, fires and murders, the numbers are, per incident, lower. However, is the pain for the families left behind any less? I think not. Yet, do we have memorials on every highway, street or in buildings where these deaths occurred? No, because if we did, 75% of our city would be commemorating the site of where a soul left a body. We would be living in a state of eternal mourning, turning the paths of life into cemeteries.

Certainly families must grieve their losses, yet does it help to stand on the Belt Parkway, the L.I.E. and any other place a loved one was lost? Personally, I would not be able to handle it emotionally.

Whatever happened to churches, temples and cemeteries where the families of deceased victims can reflect their losses and pray or meditate? These are places of peace.

I cannot see purchasing a piece of land, in a residential area, to construct a death memorial. The people living there survived a trauma. They did not kill anyone, and they do not desire a reminder of such a fatal accident where they live their lives and raise their children. Why should these innocent residents be forever faced with a formal reminder of death where they must continue to live?

The majority of the families in grief can view this memorial and go home, much like you do when you visit a grave. Home is a comfort zone, Why should this comfort be denied to the residents of that location? Will it bring back those who perished? No, it cannot. Churches can dedicate stained glass windows to the victims' memories. Perhaps a collective headstone can be donated, bearing the names of those lost, and constructed in a cemetery, located to the convenience of the majority of mourners, much like the Vietnam Wall honors so many lost, many not found.

Each family, I am sure, has a personal memorial, be it a picture, a candle or something of personal choice, where they can reflect and try to heal.

Again, these are all external signs of pain and remembrance.

None of them can, or should, replace what is truly important. The individual victim's memory, alive forever in the minds and hearts of his or her family. The love, the pain, the loss is inside each survivor. So are the personal, beautiful memories of the lives they shared.

No memorial can replace this, and nothing collective should take priority over that one person (or in some cases more), and what that person or persons meant to those who really knew and loved them.

We tend to commercialize everything, as if it is the magic bullet.

Death deserves more dignity and privacy than it does with public exploitation.

KATHLEEN LOVOI


Return to top


Email Us
Contact Us

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Wave Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved

Neighborhoods | History