On Sunday, March 18th, The NYC Street Memorial Project held it's 7th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk across all five boroughs. I was at the Erica Abbott memorial space on that day.
I did not know Erica Abbott in life, but every day I am reminded of her death.
Last August, while bicycling to a meeting of Buddist organization 108 Live Project, Erica Abbott was struck and killed by a motorist after she tried to avoid debris in the street. I live on that block and saw the EMTs trying to help her. I was apprehensive after the ambulance left as it had lights on but no sirens, which meant that they'd either stabilized her or felt she wasn't going to make it. I wasn't sure; I couldn't remember what I had been told.
For the Memorial Ride and Walk, many people gather in all five boroughs and visit the ghost bikes of those who had been killed on New York City streets within the past year. Since walking by the memorial has been a daily ritual, I wanted to bear witness to the memory of Erica Abbott.
Erica's family arrived from California and Upstate New York for this memorial which took place 9 months after her death. I met and spoke with her mother, Donna, and aunt along with neighbors who helped her after the accident. When the Memorial Riders arrived, it was about 20 people strong. A speech along with the names of the dead were read aloud. Erica's aunt and an organizer then spoke a little about Erica.
More can be read about Erica Abbott on ghostbikes.org, the webpage for the NYC Street Memorial Project.
A very special thank you to Andrew Hinderaker for allowing us to post additional images from the Memorial Ride.