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AKRON -- You've seen the teddy bears and flowers along the roadway, marking someone gone too soon.

Now Akron has set a deadline for these temporary shrines -- just 45 days. And they've already started tearing them down.

Channel 3's Sara Shookman talked to one family who is trying to understand why.

In this East Akron community, little Tony Swain's story is a cautionary tale. He was killed by a hit-skip driverwhile walking his sister to school.

He saved her life, pushing her out of the car's path. A cross and makeshift memorial has been up for 7 years since Swain was killed.

But Friday, it's likely coming down.

"You don't take a hero down. That was little hero," said neighbor Zenobia Blair, who can see the roadside memorial from her front porch.

City Council made the new rule after property owners and neighborhood watch groups complained about the roadside memorials as unattractive.

The first 45 day deadline hit last week.

"Maybe somebody else's neighborhood, fine. But I would like for that to stay up in my neighborhood to remind the kids at Glover, and my grandkids that goes to Glover, what you are supposed to do --watch out," said Blair.

"I go up there every other day. I clean it, I cut the grass," said Tony Swain, Sr.

While he won't put the shrine for his little boy back up if it's against the city rules, he wants to know.

"I just want to know why. I'm going to ask them. Why would they take that down?" he said.

The city's response?

"Residents, you know, their patience is worn out. With the memorials in front of their property," said John Valle, the director of neighborhood assistance.

"In that particular case, that always seemed to be well maintained." But there are no exceptions, says Valle.

So Tony Swain's memorial and 16 other memorials that have been up since before the rule was set will all be taken down.

By 5 p.m., the cross and fence will be dismantled. But neighbors aren't finished yet.

"You can take it down, but the community, the people around here know what Tony Swain done for this neighborhood," said Blair.

Families have the option to take the memorials down themselves, as the Swain family has chosen, or city workers will tear them down and store the items for two weeks, in case someone wants them.

Valle says there have been five more memorials set up since the rule was decided. At those sites, the city has already posted a sign, starting the clock on their individual deadlines.

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