OUR VIEW: Park renaming a good memorial for ‘Bella’ MorganWe’re pleased to hear that the Mitchell City Council is considering renaming Northridge Park in honor of Iszabella Morgan, the 9-year-old girl who died in a traffic crash March 24.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
We’re pleased to hear that the Mitchell City Council is considering renaming Northridge Park in honor of Iszabella Morgan, the 9-year-old girl who died in a traffic crash March 24.
We had heard, and some council members acknowledged Monday evening, that a proposal had been floated to rename Duff Street in honor of Morgan. (The crash happened at the corner of First and Duff.)
Renaming a street would have been a bad move, we think. There must have been a reason the street was named “Duff” originally, and just because most people have forgotten that reason, it doesn’t mean the street should be renamed. If we renamed it Bella Street, people decades from now will probably be similarly forgetful and might rename it again. Additionally, renaming a street is an inconvenience for everybody who has an address on that street.
So when we heard about the proposal to rename Northridge Park in honor of Morgan, we figured it was a good alternative. It’s clear, as some council members said Monday evening, that the Morgan accident touched an unusually large number of people in Mitchell and even across the state. Given the outpouring of grief, a memorial of some kind seems appropriate.
It was said at Monday’s council meeting that Morgan often played at Northridge Park, which is near Mitchell High School and is so named because of its proximity to the ridge over Firesteel Creek. Given Morgan’s apparent affinity for the park, and since the park’s current name holds no apparent significance for anyone, renaming the park in her honor seems like a reasonable and appropriate way to memorialize her. Other parks in Mitchell, such as Jennewein Park and Patton-Young Park, already are named for other people.
We hope if the proposal is approved, there will be a plaque or other memorial installed at the park that will tell Morgan’s story. We also hope that plaque will warn people about the dangers of drinking and driving, though some care will have to be taken with that. So far, the man charged with causing the crash is only accused —not convicted — of being drunk and fleeing from police.
If it’s done tactfully, maybe the establishment of a place to reflect on Morgan’s life and the lessons resulting from her death will be a good way to spin something positive out of a terribly tragic accident.