Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Remembering the fallen: NOT soldiers, children.

One memorial had barely disappeared and another was raised. A cross made of sticks tied with some strapping is all that’s left of a memorial to a young man shot nearby the KittredgePark. When asked how long ago the murder occurred, a neighbor sitting in the park replied that it had been about two years. When told that two years seemed like a long time for an outdoor memorial to last, the neighbor said, “we love our children”. And that's all they are really - children. Children with guns.

This is the newest shrine, on Bartlett Street, wrapped in plastic to survive the winter elements. Alongside the "why" plea are gang tags.

Rest in peace, David Jones, 1990-2007. Though even those who never met you wish it could be the case, you obviously will not be the last.



  1. Hi Michelle. It looks like we're neighbors. Nice to "meet" you. Thanks for this great post.

    The ongoing memorial in Kittredge Square was brought up at a neighborhood meeting about two years ago. A few neighbors were wondering whether something had recently happened in the park when they saw the memorial spring up. The neighborhood police liaison stated that there had been no homicides on Fort Hill in years (this was late 2005). A few neighbors present at the meeting stated that the memorial was constructed by a group of teens who had gathered there to memorialize a friend on the anniversary of his death (and who had not died in the neighborhood). More recently, there was a memorial built in the same park to commemorate a teenager who had died of an illness. There were two separate memorials in the park until a few months ago. I'm not sure which memorial is the one in your photo. As far as I know from the crime reports presented at neighborhood meetings by the police liaison, the only homicide in the past three or four years was Cedirick Steele, who was killed in front of Ace's Market.

    Some neighbors have said they are frustrated about the memorials, stating that it could make it hard to sell or rent their homes if people got the impression that it was a violent neighborhood. Others found this pretty offensive, thinking that some people were putting their financial well-being ahead of people's right to gather in community and express their emotions. Still others feel that the memorials might traumatize their children who walk by them every day, and have stated that they wish there was more opportunity for youths and families to have memorial rituals inside a church or community center where there's more context about what happened and why.

  2. very interesting. what we do is more important than what is done to us. will be back.

  3. Eeka,

    Thanks so much for this information!
    I had found your "...Smoots Short of A Bridge Blog" in my research before starting this one and am glad you're still in the neighborhood!

  4. pops,

    that picture can still move me as much now as it did 40 years ago.