Mourning father builds crosses for DWI victims


by Sarah Lucero / KENS 5

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Updated Friday, May 3 at 4:04 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Simon Galan has had one mission for over the last 20 years.

"So I make it for him, in memory of my son. Everything I do is for him," he said.

He builds crosses for families who have lost a loved to a drunken driver.

"I do it because I know how the people asking for them feel. What they're going through, it's hard," he said.

His son, Edward Anthony Galan was killed in 1993. He was just 29 years old.

The white crosses are a symbol on the side of the road, marking the place where someone was killed, often at the hands of a drunken driver.

"My son was killed some time ago, and to me it doesn't make a difference. It's like it was yesterday," he said.

It was 10:30 in the evening, Feb.19, 1993, when Edward Galan stopped to help a stranded motorist on Highway 90 at Probandt.

His father said he can never forget what a witness told him happened.

"She saw him sideswipe my son's car, hit my son directly, and toss his body into the air," he said.

Losing his son left him with an unbearable pain.

"I was completely lost," Galan said through tears.

Galan said his son was a single dad, with so much to live for. He describes him as young, strong and agile.

The very first cross he made was for Edward, but he wasn't able to put it up because state law determined it would be a distraction along Highway 90, so he turned to making crosses out of his cabinet shop for others who have suffered a similar loss.

"I do a lot of work to them. I sand them. I rout them, quarter rout all the way around," he said.

He makes crosses for adults and smaller ones for children. He gets several dozen requests from all over the state every year. He said the small crosses are the most difficult to make.

"They're harder to work on because it's a child who is no longer here," he said.

As a speaker on a victim's panel for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Galan sees firsthand the epidemic of drinking and driving in San Antonio.

"I want that to end. I want the building of crosses to end," he said. "I don't want to lecture them not to be drinking, but I tell them how they can hurt people, how they can hurt their own family."

At 74, Galan's purpose in life will continue to be to talk, to build and to heal for as long as he can.

"I'll still do them, I'll do them until I have the last breath in my body," he said.

It's his tribute to his son.

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