This is an example of a 2010 memorial at the University of Virginia for Morgan Harrington, a Virginia Tech student who disappeared while going to a nearby rock concert and whose skeleton was discovered at a farm. People from all over the state left paintings, pins, posters, and rocks on a bridge near the area where she was last seen alive. Because she was from one major state university and the case happened near another university, more people were interested in this incident. There was also a political statement, with the “MURDERED” markups on the missing signs.
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, in their book Metaphors We Live By, mention the absoluteness of truth in human metaphorical conversation. Metaphors could apply to photographs. After all, the saying says “a picture is worth 1,000 words.”
An elaboration of my topic proposal…
I plan to write a journalistic feature article. It’s the most comfortable thing for me to do and it makes the most sense in this context. I think a photo essay with captions would also work. A feature article would elaborate the backgrounds behind each memorial or the motives behind it, and photo essays could convey the sights and feelings much easier than gargantuan articles. (short and sweet captions)
Publications that could fit this project include New Jersey Monthly, Go World Travel Magazine, or even Weird NJ.
I have never covered this topic before, but I have passed by so many of them during my life. I’d have to use my journalistic skills to track down relevant people to interview.
Is this enough to start me on a research project?
My biggest question is: why did they keep it as a patriotic memorial instead of repainting it after the post-9/11 fervor died down?
For this project, I would like to delve into the backstory of a painted boulder on County Road 539 in the Pine Barrens of lacey Township, NJ. It supposedly fell off a delivery truck in the 1920s on its way to make a Jersey Shore beach jetty.
The theme will be an investigative travel/ adventure blog.