AK vs AK

"Who knew Fairbanks was so fabulous! " Michelle

The Fairbanks Ghost Bike

There is a ghost bike in Fairbanks. Just one. And it was erected in honor  of 14-year-old Kirsten Shaye Tompkins who was killed last summer.

When Drew and I arrived in Fairbanks in Dec 2010, we spent our first few weeks  driving all over (and I mean ALL over) looking for a place to live. On most days we passed the intersection of Steese Highway & Johansen Expressway. It’s pretty easy to just blow right past it but if you take a minute to look, you will notice the memorial shrine of photos and flowers along with the ghost bike.

I am a big fan of the ghost bike as a tribute and reminder.  Drew and I have even talked about co-opting the idea to create a similar memorial (ghost boots) for fallen soldiers. I know if this war ever takes my soldier from me I’ll be placing some ghost boots somewhere in the stadium where Marietta High School plays its football games. I hope I never get that opportunity.

Some people find ghost bikes to be morbid. Others find them important and necessary. In New York, where we have a bunch of ghost bikes, the city even stepped in to save them from removal by the Dept of Sanitation last summer.

The Sixth Annual Memorial Ride and Walk – a ride/walk past NYC’s ghost bike memorials – will be taking place this Sunday, March 13 from noon – 6PM. If I was in Fairbanks this weekend I’d be paying a visit to Kirsten’s. I hope others there will do the honors.

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2011 by in alaska, musings.

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