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Aberdeen roadside memorial — ‘Sadly,’ it’s time to remove it, Judi says

Roadside Memorial
(Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

While I have the utmost sympathy for anybody who loses a family member, especially in a tragic way, I am on the side of Aberdeen when it comes to the makeshift memorial that has been erected in honor of William Karecki, the 22-year-old who was shot and killed in 2015.

For two years, town officials have looked the other way when it came to a memorial that the family has erected in his memory. You know sometimes when you’re driving down the road you might see a bouquet of flowers laid by a tree or perhaps a cross near a guard rail to signify that somebody has passed there? Those are usually fast and fleeting memorials in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy. In the case of this memorial things have gotten out of control, with a mishmash of chairs, T-shirts, candles, flowers, crosses and teddy bears and residents have allegedly been complaining about it.

I understand their plight, too. There really is no place for a private memorial on public property especially when it becomes the kind of over-embellished shrine that this one has. This is a particularly sad case because this murder has never been solved and the Karecki family was hoping to keep the monument up until the case was closed. I cannot even imagine the type of anguish and grief that this family is going through — but the fact remains that the rest of the town doesn’t need to be burdened because of one family’s
suffering.

There are other places that have been offered to the family like benches and trees in town where their son can be memorialized but this cumbersome display of memorabilia is just too much of a mess for this town to handle. And just because the town is requiring that the family take it down does not mean that they don’t have sympathy for their plight: They’ve offered to donate memorials or help fundraise for them. But although they have tried to be lenient for the past two years, rules are rules. Sadly, it’s time to take the memorial down.

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