In recent weeks, the Payson Roundup has published a number of letters about roadside memorials, but I don't think any made the point clearly.
Roadside memorials are for survivors. Let me elaborate.
Driving almost anywhere in the West takes a long time and can consume many miles. Traffic control signs remind us to take extra care on steep slopes, tight curves and confusing intersections. Yet, there are other devices that stand out clearly above the rest as warnings to slow down and be watchful for some peril ahead. Yep, they're those controversial roadside memorials, placed in spots where people have died. I can't say how many times the sight of a memorial has caused me to ease off the accelerator just a little going into a turn on a downhill grade or approaching a "no passing" zone at the crest of a hill. Can anyone who drives here in the West deny having the same experience?
The victims' survivors erect roadside memorials to help ease their grief and out of respect for the dead. But, we who travel the highways survive because memorials remind us to be more vigilant in the task of driving safely.
Ted Thayer, Globe