There seems to me something sad and bleak about these ad hoc freelance memorials along the shoulder. They’re symptoms of a culture that’s lost its sense of rituals of observance. Unlike America, in Commonwealth countries the tradition is for soldiers to rest where they fall. Thus, Rupert Brooke’s famous poem from the Great War:
If I should die, think only this of me;
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.
I can understand that more easily than the idea that there’s some corner of a domestic two-lane blacktop that is forever your beloved son or daughter. Aside from reducing a rich and full life to a few fatal seconds of misjudged motoring, there’s an unseemliness in the act of appropriation. Putting aside atheists vs Christians, the intrusion upon the public space is dubious, especially for two years of “grieving”. The place for Anthony Devaney’s family to honor and remember him is at a well-tended grave in a graveyard of his fellow Americans.