I had my Easter Vigil choir practice earlier today. After practice, a few of my friends/choir members and myself stopped by the church to pay respects to the family of a local Marine who was recently killed by a (suspected) drunk driver last week that held major traffic for 14 hours for a DUI/homicide investigation. The entire fatal accident was all over the Bay Area news here during that week. After all, we always bring news about our local heroes in the military and their accomplishments and deaths during their duties overseas, but who would have thought that another soldier would lose his life to an irresponsible drunk driver and not from enemy fire?
Lance Corporal Andrew Silva was way too young to die, only at age 23. He was a homegrown Marine from the same town as I am and a fellow parishioner of my church as well. Many of my friends knew him and his family. Never mind getting killed in the line of fire, but getting killed by some drunken bastard on home soil?
After sharing my condolences and gave a short prayer to the deceased Marine, I was reminded about the whole deal with adults and alcoholic drinks. It reminded me one of the reasons why I frown upon today’s (pop) music and other aspects of pop culture about glamorizing heavy partying in clubs while getting drunk (and high) with fancy shots of alcoholic cocktails and everything similar in the first place. After several decades and decades of commercials and news reports about responsible drinking and driving, there are still irresponsible adults out there who ignore all the warnings and all the tragedies of people losing their lives to DUI accidents. And may I be more specific, young adults?
Why, I start to ask myself, that despite of all these warnings and reports about DUI accidents, many people, especially adults, still just don’t get these incidents through their heads? I have to admit that I have a lot of friends who love to drink1 and even post shots of them and their fancy cocktails in their Facebook wall posts and anything else similar. I drink occasionally myself2, but because I am not a huge fan of alcoholic drinks, I don’t end up getting myself dead drunk. Sometimes whenever I see many of my friends glamorizing their partying and drinking, especially when they’re so frequent as two to three times a week to almost everyday that I cringe and frown, making me think if they’re thinking about the consequences about what others may think. Sure, many of them are probably leaning more towards “I don’t give a(n) ‘F’ what you think about my lifestyle/drinking…” etc. etc., but it does make me wonder of things about them. Out of respect though, I simply just pretend that I didn’t see them and just roll along as always.3 Maybe I should say something about it to them, but on the other hand, I may end up getting slapped by “it’s none of your business” excuses and retorts if I intervene.
The saddest part about this local DUI accident was that a young man proudly serving his country was the one who dies, while that drunken bastard4 had to be the one to survive. This fact made me reflect a little bit regarding God’s plans and God’s wills to each individual living on this earth. That lance corporal must indeed be proud with a lovely wife and a family of his own and that I was sure that he really got things going on for him and his family for the future. I really can’t make any judgments or assumptions as to his true personality because I didn’t have a chance to meet him, but it made me remember this one saying at the same time: Why do all the good die young?
One of my friends at the choir did also remind me of a series of car accidents that had been happening during this year’s Lent season. I don’t know what it means quite yet, but even though it’s just a normal day in our lives, we all have to be very vigilant and careful on the road. Adults in general should be mature enough and responsible not being always reminded by those older than us regarding the facts of life and the dangers existing to this world, especially with young adults. Sure, once we all graduate from high school (and enter college or finally get our first job) that we can finally have our first taste of independence, this is no excuse to not be vigilant and then learn things the hard way. In short, there is no excuse for this fatal incident to consider as something you learn the hard way when you ended the life of another. Although I am glad that the bastard responsible for this tragedy was arrested, still, it would not take back the life of that Marine or even heal the grieving wounds of his family and those who knew him well.
Call me a party pooper, but I still do not condone or consider getting drunk as part of having fun or simply just partying hard. There are other (and safer) ways that you can still have fun and consider “partying hard,” as long as it’s 100% sure that it would not harm anyone else. I rather be the boring (but sober) and responsible designated driver than the party animal who may end up killing an innocent life under the influence.
Hm, regarding the latter, I can see why some of my friends don’t invite me to go to clubs or pubs. Either way, I’m not complaining.
On the sidenote...
- though I am thankful that they’re responsible enough to not drink heavily and then drive right after… [↩]
- occasionally as in probably once to four times a year with only a few sips here and there… [↩]
- and I apologize to those friends for feeling this way… [↩]
- and an EMT of all people… [↩]