Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meanwhile, In the 'Hood...

...they put up impromptu memorials - - not to those killed by or in automobile accidents, but those that were victims of murder:

On June 30, 2011, 16-year-old T.J. Harris Jr. collapsed on his friend’s front porch. He laid there with two bullets lodged in his chest, taking his last breaths as he slipped out of consciousness. Police came, followed promptly by an ambulance. But T.J. couldn’t hang on.

In the days after T.J. was killed in a shooting on Wilmington’s North Fifth Avenue, a makeshift memorial took shape in the grassy median across the street from his friend’s porch. T.J.’s mother, Teresa Walker, often visits to lay fresh flowers, replace deflated balloons and reminisce about a young life cut short.

“At first I feel sad,” she said. “But then I think about all the good times me and him had together.”

Street shrines have become a sadly familiar sight across the city as bereaved families and friends erect homemade monuments atop curbs, in parks and along roadsides to commemorate loved ones lost. People are probably more familiar with roadside memorials to traffic accident victims. But in urban areas like Wilmington, the long-running tradition has expanded to honor those slain in violence. In that sense, their all-too-common presence serves to manifest the consequences of crime.

Which should probably be included in John Derbyshire's infamous The Talk: Non-Black Version:

If you are in an unfamiliar city and see streetside memorials to murder victims, leave immediately.

That's down in Wilmington, NC, one of our nearest NC beach destinations.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

And a reason I won't step foot in that town...