Memorial to Victims of New Mexico DWI

A four acre patch of land east of Albuquerque is dotted with markers memorializing victims of drunk driving in New Mexico. The Memorial of Perpetual tears was erected by Sonja Britton, whose son was killed by a drunk driver in 1991.

The memorial sits about 50 yards off of Interstate 40 in the town of Moriarity. The land currently has more than 900 powder gray steel markers. They were designed by Britton and feature a curved top that forms an eye. Tears are cut into the marker below the eye. Britton said steel was chosen because of the steel machines that felled the DWI victims.

The number of markers reflects the total number of New Mexico DWI victims for the previous five years. Each year the number of markers is adjusted to reflect the most recent statistics. The memorial has room for 1500 markers, though Britton hopes one day there will be no markers at the memorial.

Britton would like to expand the project into a national memorial for victims of drunk driving. She envisions landscaping, paths and plaques for each state with the number of DWI related fatalities for that year. An outdoor fountain is planned with a sculpture representing injured victims and their caretakers. A 2,100 square foot visitors center is being erected that will feature streaming videos with personal accounts of drunk driving incidents and DWI information.

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