Bench mark

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The Independent Online

Come off it! What other reaction can there be to the decision not to allow any more memorial benches and plaques on the Pembrokeshire coastal path?

Reason, understanding, patience, sympathy, reluctance to condemn: these are the leading traits of this newspaper. But, every so often, there is brought to our attention a happening or trend that forces us to demur in really quite strong terms and employ that time-honoured newspaper trope: come off it!

What other reaction can there be to the decision, part of a growing phenomenon, not to allow any more memorial benches and plaques on the Pembrokeshire coastal path because people find them depressing? If we were of a censorious turn, we might describe this as the perfect symbol of an age that seems to be forgetting how to think.

Depressing? That those who were loved should be remembered where they loved? To be prompted to sit and ponder on the brief mystery of life? Poets will weep, philosophers despair, priests clutch their rosaries and raise their eyes to heaven. What would these death-defying ramblers rather? Sponsored benches? Picnic areas? Information points? A people with no past has no future. We say: leave it out!

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