MADD provides a shoulder to cry on

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, September 26, 2004

We, the board members, would like to clarify MADD's mission and activities for the sake of Joyce Reid and others who may be uninformed. The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to stop drunken driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. Many members of MADD have experienced firsthand the pain caused by someone's irresponsible use of alcohol. Our organization exists because we don't want anyone else to ever have to experience this pain. We consider another fatal car crash in our region a failure on our part, not a triumph.

Because drunken driving crashes continue to kill our neighbors, we continue to offer support for victims of these tragedies. We are here to help victims and their families in any way we can including offering a shoulder to cry on, gathering pamphlets and materials, and providing assistance in navigating court proceedings. Our executive director, in particular, has taken long phone calls in the middle of the night, visited the homes of grieving family members, and sat through long court hearings all at the request of victims. We have found that victims of drunken driving are appreciative of the assistance, empathy, and resources of MADD.

Like the slaughtering of Russian school children and the deaths of soldiers in Iraq, when alcohol-related tragedies occur, we think it is important that the paper report it. We hope that knowledge of the event will save others from suffering a similar fate, and thus one positive thing can come out of what is otherwise a senseless loss of life. Perhaps this makes the perpetrator, his family, or others uncomfortable. However, we are here primarily to support the victim's family. We believe you honor the victim more by telling his story than by burying it.

Susan Phipps

Juneau



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