POSTED: Saturday, December 8, 2012 - 8:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 4:39pm
BATON ROUGE,LA (NBC33) — Families affected by drunk drivers came together Saturday for a Christmas tree dedication and remembrance ceremony hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The tree sits at State Police headquarters in Baton Rouge. Each branch is decorated with one of almost 100 images of those killed or injured by a drunk driver.
Family members lit candles and read out a list of victims. The emotional service helped participants share experiences in a safe place.
"Well the holidays are not the same anymore since this happend," Elisa Smith, who lost her son Andre to a drunk driver, said. "Being here its not only that you're here with someone that knows the pain that your going through."
"If you haven't walked in their shoes, you don't understand what they are going through," Valerie Cox, with MADD, said. "As hard as you try you can't understand. And they come together and it's just one family at this time."
The tree also features white lights. MADD officials will replace a white light with a red one every time someone in Louisiana is killed in alcohol related cars over the holidays.