Dear Ann Landers,
I hope you will make room for one more response to the letter about the father who didn't want his children to wear bicycle helmets because they would "look like sissies."
I just attended the funeral of my son's best friend. He was 9 years old. This boy was riding his bike without a helmet and went through an intersection without stopping. He ran into the side of a car, was thrown backward, hit his head on a concrete and steel drainage hole and died instantly. The boy's parents and family are devastated. My son is devastated. His classmates and friends are devastated. The person who was driving the car is devastated.
Children who wear helmets are not sissies. They are smart. But more important, they are alive. My son wears his helmet when he is on his bike and will start wearing one when he begins inline skating. By teaching his children to disregard the law about helmets, that father is also teaching them to break any law they think is stupid. That man had better wake up and smell the coffee, or he will be attending a funeral -- and it will be a funeral he will never forget. Believe me, today was the most emotionally draining day of my entire life. -- Still Grieving in Louisville, Ky.
I'm sure your letter will move millions of readers, as it moved me. It's a chilling reminder that the simple act of putting on a helmet can make the difference between life and death.