Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Miffed Man Mucks Mom Memorial on Muddy Mother's Day

Trying a little channel 7 vibe here with the headline, work with me...

You may remember that about a month ago, a mother and her unborn baby were killed in Lancaster by a drunken driver. As often happens, the family and friends of the victims erected a make-shift memorial at the crash site. Apparently, the man who owns the property on which the memorial was located has seen enough of it, as related in this story from the Sentinel and Enterprise:

Man admits burying cross from crash victims' memorial
By James Downing

LANCASTER -- A memorial for the Leominster woman and her unborn child who died in an April car crash is missing a cross and a pair of baby booties.

"I removed them because I'm an atheist and I do not want any Catholic symbols on my property," Bill Brodmerkle told the Sentinel & Enterprise Friday.

Brodmerkle said he buried the cross in the backyard of his house at 414 Sterling St.

He said he did not knowingly bury any baby booties, but the weather has been bad and he might not have noticed them.

The guy doesn't want any "Catholic" symbols on his property, so he buries the cross...on his property. Am I missing something here? Is it not still on his property? Is the issue that he thinks hosting a cross on the side of the road in front of his house is an endorsement of belief, like a statue of the Madonna or a political sign touting a candidate?

Brodmerkle said he had been promised the memorial would only stay up for two weeks following the crash.

The cross went missing on May 14, according to John Rousseau, James' brother.

Brodmerkle left a couple of porcelain angels, a wreath, stuffed animals and some now-empty flower baskets untouched.

"I'm sorry for the tragic accident," Brodmerkle said. "I'm also regretful because the person made a forthright and honest promise" to remove the memorial, he added.

Brodmerkle said he is open to returning the cross.

Mr. Brodmerkle obviously feels strongly about the cross (although I wonder why he drew the line between the cross and the porcelain angels, which to me also would qualify as "Catholic" symbols). Not only did he go out of his way to bury it despite the historically bad weather, but the cross erected to memorialize a young mother-to-be and her unborn infant went missing on Mother's Day!

At least he's open to excavating the muddy thing and returning it. Then, it will be off his property once and for all.

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