I was in the park for about an hour, and was bothered the whole time. It took a week or so to figure out why.
Eventually, I made some calls and got a woman named Kellie Holbrook of the Georgia World Congress Center, which is in charge of the park, to tell me why, a year and a half later, there are still mounds of mud and construction piles around the site where Alice Hawthorne died. She said that the Quilt of Remembrance that I had seen was to be one of five symbolic quilts spread out in 60-by-60 foot plots along that northeast area of the park. She said the others would be a Quilt of Dreams, in memory of Payne and the organizers; a Greek Tribute to the history of the Olympics, a tribute to the athletes of the world and a tribute to the participating nations in Atlanta, the best attended Games of all time.
She said that plans were to have a mosaic of colors in the Quilt of Remembrance, with a single light in the center of the quilt that would stand for Hawthorne. She said that all the quilts would be finished in March and that a special dedication would take place the weekend of March 28.
I told her that was nice, and that I liked the idea of the single light as a commemorative.
I didn't tell her I was bothered that it still wasn't done, that somebody should have thought about having it done and dedicated by the time of the Nagano Olympics, thereby achieving some degree of symbolic closure.
I realized that it was probably just me, that I was being too fastidious or was getting caught up too much in Olympic symbolism and emotion, that I was still more affected than I thought by what I had seen and experienced that night.
The Quilt of Remembrance, with the light in the middle, will be nice. It's a good plan, a good idea.
And, as I keep trying to convince myself, it's also better late than never.