Originally Published: May 10, 2016 6 a.m.
Governor Doug Ducey’s administration and the Arizona Department of Transportation have commenced removing memorial crosses and religious markers from the side of state highways. This removal started two weeks ago along Highway 177 and east of Superior on U.S. 60. No notification either personally or via newspapers was provided to families of the loved ones who were killed at those sites.
Most families of the deceased consider these memorial sites sacred and holy. When folks questioned ADOT they were notified that they could pick up the deceased’s crosses and other religious items at the maintenance yard in Globe. When family members went to claim religious items, many of the figurines were found broken and many crosses were missing.
ADOT and Ducey ARE within their legal rights to remove all un-permitted objects from state right of way. The issue is that highway deaths have been marked by memorial crosses for almost a hundred years. These crosses also serve as a notice to other drivers to be more cautious while driving. Why is the Ducey administration having them removed now?
The Governor’s executive staff has indicated that they will be removing memorial crosses from all rural state highways. Most of our rural highways are in extremely bad condition, seems to me that highway crew’s time could be better utilized repairing our roadways versus desecrating sacred ground.
If you desire to express your opinion to Gov. Ducey, he can be reached at 602-542-4331 or write to 1700 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007.