Thursday, July 05, 2012


This is a memorial brick at the Harrisburg DUI Memorial for Victims of Drunk Drivers. My kid-brother Joe was killed on JULY 5th, 1997, by an underage drunk driver. Six months later, my dad died of leukemia but I suspect more of a broken heart, having buried his second son and third child. Joe was just two years younger than me. We shared bunk beds growing up. His funeral had 80 cars in the funeral procession to the cemetery. He was liked by everyone who knew him and they liked him from the moment they met him. His nickname among friends was "Crow", something to do with the cartoon characters Heckle and Jeckle. Joseph (Joey, as my Polish grandmother called him) was a good man who never hurt anyone but tried to make people laugh or at least feel at ease. He did not see others as threats or adversaries or even competitors. He treated others like colleagues and treated his friends like family. To his family, he is lovingly missed, as is our younger brother Michael who died five years before from Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 26.  Today is a difficult day for my mom, so I ask your prayers for her.

I urge EVERYONE to do whatever you can to prevent more innocent deaths through DUI and DWI. Do not let your family or friends drive drunk. If you do, it is a SIN OF OMISSION in my book and a mortal one at that. Material cooperation in evil includes NEGLIGENCE. Taking someone's keys, driving them home or calling them a cab is a small price when you consider they may kill a loved one from somebody else's family.

1 comment:

Brian Gill said...

That was a moving account, and good advice.

I mourn your loss: and respectfully offer my belated condolences.

I also remember the 'good old days' in America, when being drunk was an acceptable excuse for vehicular homicide. God be thanked, those days are gone.

'Friends don't let friends drive drunk' may sound corny: but it's solid advice, and could save a life. Lives.

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