Sorry, Krystal, your cross annoys them
By Nevada Appeal editorial board
It wasn’t enough for a 9-year-old girl to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn’t enough she was kidnapped, raped, murdered and tossed like trash by the side of Highway 50.
It wasn’t enough for memorials to Krystal Steadman to be stolen, vandalized and vandalized again.
Now comes someone, through a lawyer, to complain the cross alongside the highway where her body was dumped is just too much to bear.
The complaint puts the Nevada Department of Transportation in a no-win situation. The cross is far larger than impromptu roadside memorials which dot nearly every dangerous intersection in Northern Nevada. It could be a distraction, could be a hazard, could be an inappropriate use of the public right of way.
We do feel obliged to point out the reason the cross is so massive is the persistence of people who wouldn’t abide the thought that vandals should have the last say on Krystal’s memorial.
After NDOT had the teddy bears, flowers and toys left as mementos soon after her death removed, individuals returned to create a simple reminder of the tragedy that occurred to an innocent girl. That memorial wasn’t unlike so many others on Nevada’s roadsides.
But some evil-hearted individual destroyed the memorial. And heavily damaged the next one. And then, frustrated, painted the big cross black.
Now, though, instead of vandals, it appears the last word on a memorial for a 9-year-old murder victim will go to the people who don’t want to be annoyed by such things. And government will go along because there’s no appetite to fight a cause destined for failure in courts which believe it’s not enough to be right, no one can be offended in the process.
Billboards, historical markers, power poles, golf-course signs, a steel-and-concrete memorial to three fallen firefighters that sits a few feet off Kings Canyon Road – these apparently carry a common good that a memorial to an innocent 9-year-old does not.
With its removal, we lose more than Krystal’s cross.