Disaster songs may well be sung at informal memorial sites, but they are just as likely to emerge far from the site of disaster, perhaps for this very reason: people moved by a disaster but who cannot visit an informal memorial site find other ways to express their grief and extend their condolences to the bereaved. To argue that disaster songs are intangible memorials requires first understanding what their tangible equivalents are. This chapter provides an overview of the recent history of formal and informal memorialization in North America. It focuses specifically on vernacular memorials, describing how several late twentieth-century tragedies reified particular vernacular responses to disasters and increased acts of vernacular memorialization. Finally, the chapter turns to disaster songs, linking the surge in vernacular memorialization to increasing numbers of disaster songs.