Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Legacy Memorial Park - DC

I recently visited a memorial to 9 people who died in 2009 as a result of an error in a safety system for Metro. In a nutshell, two commuter trains collided because of a failure of a track warning system. It was a horrible accident...and worse because it could have been prevented on so many levels. The grieving families sued the city and as part of the compensation package got this park built as a place to remember their loved ones. I visited it recently. It troubles me.

The Memorial placard that is fixed to the safety
railing on the New Hampshire Avenue bridge
crossing the tracks nearest to where the
accident occurred.
What justifies a public memorial after someone dies? I totally get the memorials for soldiers, and those for victims of terrorism and certainly those who have died in defense against attacks on our moral and national ideals. But victims of a train wreck? Where do we draw the line between personal and public grief and the need for a place to commemorate?
This plaque references the Civil War Legacy of the district.
The history of the park and a guide to which obelisk represents which victim
The obelisks rise from hillocks and I believe they are illuminated from their bases at night.
A long dead rose taped to the railing on the bridge next to the placard.
Watching a Metro Train head in the direction of the site of the any of the passangers think about that day, not many years hence?

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