Red Line crash memorial delayed again

Just steps from the site of the Red Line Metro crash, Northeast resident Cecilia Sunja tends to her community garden. It is located next to the proposed location of a permanent memorial for the crash victims.

“Every day there's an accident, but does that mean we have to keep putting memorials everywhere that people pass away? I don't think so,” says Sunja.

That sentiment is quite common around this area, and part of the reason for this is that there still isn’t a memorial, even years after the 2009 crash. For now, a plaque sits on the New Hampshire Avenue Bridge in honor of the nine individuals who died. Saturday will mark four years since the accident, and the Mayor promised there would be a memorial by now.

But neighbors objected to the first location. And the new site, across from a church, is on federal land.

Allen Lew is the District of Columbia City Manager, and he says the process to establish a location always takes a while. “We wish it could have been done a long time ago ... but it could take a year just to run through that gamut,” he says.

The city expects to choose a design for the memorial by September and have it built by the fifth anniversary. Many of the victims’ families are angry at how long it’s taken.

{ }However, Kern McKenzie -- who lives just across from the memorial site -- understands why it’s taken this long.

“You want it to be the best it could be, you don’t want it to be rushed. If it’s a memorial for a long-lasting time, that’s something you want to spend some time on because it’s going to be around for 100 years hopefully. Four years is nothing,” she says.