Chapter 70: Impromptu Memorials to the Dead
JON K. REID
Impromptu memorials to the dead Impromptu memorials to the deceased have become a common feature of the national and international landscape. They take many forms and represent various types of deaths; nonetheless, they have in common the expression of mourning for the deceased, regardless of whether or not the mourner personally knew the deceased. The site of the impromptu memorial may be located by the roadside, as in the case of a motor vehicle fatality, or outside an apartment entrance, as in the case following the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Jr., wife Carolyn, and sister-inlaw Lauren Bessette, who died in a plane crash on July 16, 1999. In many cases, the artifacts left at the memorial may include crosses and flowers whose meaning is obvious; however, numerous other artifacts are also left at memorial sites, the meaning of which is less obvious. Some of the functions served by these ...