American Travel Journal #2 – In Memoriam Sanitatem

Driving through California over the two weeks I was there, I soon noticed that almost every stretch of highway was adorned with signs supposedly ‘in memorial to’ certain dead people. The few sections not yet associated with dead individuals featured signs inviting sponsorships or recommendations for new entrants to this morbid system.

It’s not that I’m against the idea of memorial in and of itself. A tree planted in someone’s memory is a great idea if you ask me. Ditto a well-loved dog named after recently deceased kin. Even a wooden bench with a memorial engraving is suitable, at a push. But a metal sign, produced by anonymous workers in an unknown factory, erected by labourers not previously associated with the deceased, embedded by the side of a vast expanse of concrete and asphalt – can that really be considered as a suitable form of memorial – for anybody?

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