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Memorial Fence

May 27, 2019 | Curbside Consults

I attempt to cross the George Washington Bridge by bike with a friend on a clear Memorial Day. We get separated along the way and I find myself off of a highway near the bridge carrying my bike up stairs littered with glass and shards of clothing. It’s an outdoor den for drug addicts and homeless people, troubled individuals a lot less fortunate.  A gated fence stops me from completing my ascent. I turn around and luckily find my friend, who guides me back to the bridge.

We cross on the way to New Jersey and pass another fence along the way designed to prevent jumpers from perishing into the Hudson River below. Suicide signs along the way beg the unstable and the desperate to reconsider.

Memorial Day is a day to think about loss and sacrifice.

There’s life and risk and instability.

Soldiers live and die. Unfortunately, soldiers also kill themselves.

We live and die, but we try our best to live.

Most of us go on with our daily living never really reflecting on these issues.

We take our three day weekend when the official summer begins. We don our summer clothing and head out to barbeques and the beach.

We live life as we know it–always knew it, and very rarely stop to think about how we got there or where we may end up.





Memorial Day 2019: The Hudson River from the GW Bridge, mid-span


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© Richie Smith 

© Richie Smith