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LETTER: Roadside memorials a sign of remembrance

A Timmins reader weighs in on whether or not memorials should have a timestamp

TimminsToday received this letter about the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board's (CDSSAB) work to put a timestamp on roadside memorials. Read the most recent story on it here.

The chief said he is OK with the memorials but is in question as to how long they should be erected? He also says some of the memorials have been standing for as much as 20 years!

He states (that) the monument should be removed after a lengthy time!

I am somewhat agreeable to his concerns (in all due respect for his staff and lost loved ones) and understand where he is coming from and how he feels, but on the other hand, the most important thought to all those memorials is the word "remembrance".

Erecting a memorial (cross, photo, teddy bear, etc) is a sign of remembrance to the family and passerby that shows a place of loss.

I totally agree, that if a particular monument is obstructing the view for traffic, snow removal, or municipal work, then it should be erected where a possible hazard is non-existent (there are bylaws for such items).

I travel Highway 101 west quite often and there is a place just east of the Groundhog River bridge where an entire family perished in a motor vehicle accident while coming to Timmins. Every time I pass by this monument  (a cross), I remove my ball cap and say a prayer. The family is not related to me but it is the thought that I feel connected to them. If this cross or marking, was not there then those passing by would be unaware that such a tragic event even happened.

As mentioned by the chief, the monument should be removed after a lengthy time.

It is irrelevant whether the monument (cross) is there or not, it is a place of remembrance.

This place of remembrance could be a rock cut, guardrail, tree or culvert. So, is it proper to remove these items that caused the loss — no! It is simply a reminder for those lost and those who participated. I can't remember exactly how long it has been since I first started seeing a cross on a roadway and thought it was a nice thought to erect some sign of remembrance for a lost loved one.

I am a safety professional and not a public service provider. When entering these careers, one must truly understand that there are going to be situations that will stay in our minds for a long time, which may cause us to have PTSD, and with that we must constantly educate ourselves on how to deal with such a disease, again it comes with the job!

My question regarding the loss of a loved one from a roadway mishap would be; what object/thing reminds me of this place of loss?

Thank you,

Gary Kader,