Southampton highway boss Alex Gregor first posted the street sign designating Rose Hill Road in Water Mill, N.Y. honorary Sister Jackie's Way to commemorate Sister Jacqueline Walsh, who was killed in a hit-and-run in 2012. But after months of back-and-forth with residents who felt the sign was an unwanted reminder of tragedy, Gregor removed the memorial.
"Every time someone visits, I am forced to recount this tragedy because they ask who Sister Jackie was," Resident John Carley, who is married to Ingrid Bergamn's eldest daughter, wrote in a letter requesting the sign's removal.
"While I have no doubt Sister Jackie was a wonderful person and deserves to be remembered by those who knew her, her tragic death while visiting us is not an event residents wish to recall ... Your sign is a painful reminder of a dreadful crime and the inexplicable failure of law enforcement to apprehend the man who did it."
Gregor said he didn't remove the sign because of public pressure, to which he was vocally opposed. Rather, it was because Sisters of Mercy, whom Walsh served with, began complaining of ostracization from the affluent community.
"Any time there is a little pushback from the rich, that's it," Gregor told the New York Post.
"We're all created equal. I guess some people are a little more equal. It's a shame."
Gregor told Newsday he plans to keep the $45 sign in his office. If anyone asks about it, he has "no problem saying, 'It's [in memory of] a wonderful woman who dedicated herself to the church and teaching poor children.'"