Thursday, September 20

I Would Not Want a Murder Memorial On My Property

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A recent news story presented the story of a memorial that had been set up for a murder victim where he was shot. The memorial was next to a sewer grate, so the parents of the victim assumed it was city land. And maybe the city does own the land down by the street. Still, I wouldn't want a murder victim memorial out by my mailbox. While the news seemed to want to show the emotional parents' view of the situation, let's think about the property owner for a second, even if it's technically city land.

Whether he wants to sell the house or not (and it wasn't a stellar home), a memorial for a murder that took place right there, in front of your home, has to reduce property value. Family, friends, potential buyers or renters, all would wonder what that memorial is all about. No big deal: just a murder happened there. I can't imagine anyone other than the family of the murder victim wanting to maintain a memorial for a murder that took place right outside the front door. I'd want that memorial gone immediately. I think the murder took place in March, so that means there's been a reminder of how awful the neighborhood is sitting there for about half a year. Something like that wouldn't be out in front of my house for more than half a day.

The other part that the news story highlighted is that friends of the victim come and sit by the memorial to be near to their friend. That might sound sweet and all, but if a bunch of strangers hung out in front of my house on a regular basis, I wouldn't really like it. The owner of the property probably has made the assumption that a murder victim might have friends who are also violent in some way. I don't know that for sure, but I can see that assumption being made.  I assume there's a headstone in a graveyard somewhere for this young man. We should really get over the apprehension we have for cemeteries, and we can add all the flowers and balloons we want there. Actually, why don't we set up some nice little memorial parks throughout town where people can leave their tributes in a place created for contemplation rather than at the scenes of the crime. The news can just tell people the address of the park instead of folks showing up at homes and businesses that don't really want the reminder. You know, like a war memorial but for victims of crime.

I'm not heartless. I feel awful for anyone who loses a family member.. If makeshift memorials ended crime, then I'd say build one at every crime scene. But the news is constantly showing the newest memorial, so they have yet to have that impact. If it's to remember someone, then it should be done in a more permanent and appropriate place.

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