Thursday, May 28, 2009

Roadside crosses ...

One of the first things people notice when driving in Montana is the number of white crosses that have been placed alongside the roads. The local American Legion has been putting them up for decades, now, each one at the site of a fatal highway accident.

You stop noticing most of them after a while, but occasionally one catches your eye ... generally because friends or relatives of the traffic victim have decorated the cross to create a personal memorial. This marker is on a stretch of secondary road between Toston and Radersburg. Someone's added a little container for artificial flowers, and installed a metal plaque at the center of the cross. The plaque contains a person's name, birth and death dates that are sixteen years apart, and the words, "goodbye my son." It broke my heart.


  1. I know these as "descansos" and, here in Texas, they most often memorialize the death of a member of a Hispanic family. These memorials always kind of get to me.

  2. That's a fascinating link ... and very evocative of my visits to Latin America over the years.

    There are a surprising number of those home-fashioned markers here in Montana ... encouraged, I suppose, by the semi-official ones the American Legion puts up. And we're certainly not a Catholic state, or even an unusually religious one. They're particularly noticeable on the Indian reservations.

    So when are you starting your "daily Texas" blog? ;-)