In Loving Memory Of...

I’ve seen around here, with increasing frequency, vehicles with large stickers/stenciling across the back window, that says, “In Loving Memory of John Doe, 19xx - 200x”. Of course John Doe is used instead of the actual names, none of which I remember. Sometimes these are on higher end cars that seem like expensive toys. Sometimes on lower end vehicles.

When did this trend start? Any idea who started it or where it started? Is it something that is done if the survivor inherits some money, or uses insurance money, to purchase the vehicle?

I don’t know where it started, but it was quite common in Central Florida when I was living there in 2000-2002. As you’ve observed, such displays were usually on low-end cars or expensive “boy toy” pickup trucks. I’ve never seen such displays outside of the Southern US.

The first few times i saw these they were in the “thug script” and usually on cars driven by folks who bore a striking resemblance to gang members (with the colors, dew rags and the like, thumping stereos and all.

Not sure if that’s the start of this but now that I think of it I’ve never seen like Joe Business man or Mary Soccermom with it on their cars.

Have you seen this in PNW as well? I am in Central Florida. I’ve seen this mostly in the suburbs, not exactly Gangster area. The one I saw today was “In Loving Memory of Bub, 1983-2002”. Could have been their dog.

I see lots of this in Vegas, but usually not on a limo.

Most common on gangsta & redneck vehicles.

I’ve seen such memorials here in AZ.

It does seem to be part of the ‘car club’ culture.

Just to euphamize BurnMeUp’s observation.

I’ve seen a few here in the PNW in the more “urban” areas (to put it politely).

Saw a lot of this in the Hispanic/Samoan/Tongan sections of Salt Lake City.

I just saw my first one yesterday in southern Wisconsin.

I have never seen this in NE Ohio.

Now I am sure I’ll see them every day.

I did a bit more sleuthing. Outside of the gangsta crowd, it’s a southern thing. The trend started about the same time Dale Earnhardt died. Rednecks had custom-made Dale Earnhardt memorial decals made to display on their trucks, and it evolved into memorials honoring relatives and friends. I’m sure 9-11 also played a role, with many working-class Southerners putting elaborate memorials and patriotic displays on their vehicles after the trajedy.

This page (popups) describes someone that had a memorial decal dedicated to their stillborn baby.

I think sociologists would have a ball with this trend. The rise of rolling memorials seems like another piece of evidence that the lines between the public sphere and private sphere are blurring. Grieving used to be a very private, personal affair; now it’s turned into unintentional attention-whoring.

I live in central Florida, and I see this all the time, especially in Kissimmee where I work. Again, mostly gangsta-types and rednecks. I also see lots of airbrushed and scanned memorial T-shirts, with photo images of the deceased.

I’m in upstate New York and people have been doing this recently when young people die. High School or college kids.

With widows wearing black for months, if not a full year? Multi-day wakes and visitations? Funeral wreaths on the front door? Elaborate grave markers?

I’ve seen about 15 cars in my town with these. However, they all have the same name and dates so at least in this small city, it’s most likely just a family thing. I never see them anywhere in MA except this town.
I’ve also never seen them in VT, upstate NY, NH, CT or RI - but I don’t get to these states often enough to be a fair judge. One of these days, I’m gonna look this person up in the newspaper archives to find out just what happened to him.

Never seen one in Colorado.

Although I just today saw one with Calvin praying under a cross. I automatically assumed he was peeing on it and thought that was a bit rude, but when stopped at a light I saw he was on his knees praying.

Why someone would put that on their car is beyond me.

I haven’t seen one in Tennessee yet, but I’m sure they’ll catch on.

Your link does not mention the South. It mentions Kentucky, which is not considered a Southern state by Southern states.

I see them constantly on cars driven by Hispanics in Springfield, MA and in Hartford, CT. Many of them memorialize slain gang members or people who’ve been gunned down in drive-bys.

They started appearing around here a couple years ago. I see them as a natural extension of the “memorials” that crop up wherever someone gets killed in a traffic accident. Some of the memorials in the towns around me have been there for years and are elaborately decorated and maintained.