Red River Tragedy Mother Thanks Community

By Tracy Clemons

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA)- More than a week after watching three of her children drown in the Red River, Maude Warner says there aren't enough thank you cards to send to everyone who has helped her family. In a conversation with KSLA News 12, she reflected on her children, and the outpouring of support from the Ark-La-Tex and beyond.

"I've never seen the community come together like that before," Warner says.

Her aunt, Doris Williams, echoed her gratitude.

"words cannot express how grateful we are to you for your love, support, your donations, words of comfort, visits, phone calls, cards, flowers, and most of all, your prayers," Williams shared on behalf of the Warner family.

It's been more than a week since six teens, including Warner's children-Jamarcus, JaTavious, and Takeitha-drowned in the Red River. Hundreds of people packed into Praise Temple Cathedral for the visitation of all six teens last Friday, and for the Warner funeral Saturday.

"200 people came to the altar. I don't know if my kids inspired them to do that, but they came to the altar. A lot of young kids."

Seeing that her children had such an impact in life, and in their death, helps Maude Warner to cope, but she says it's still tough to deal with the loss.

"I'm smiling, but inside, my heart is just hurting. To lose three kids...nobody will ever know how much pain I'm in."

Even though they didn't survive, Warner says they were all heroes, and an example for everyone.

"If the world was like those six kids were, we would have a better place. Some of them knew they couldn't swim, but they still risked their life for their friends, and their cousin," she says.

Maude Warner also offered up some encouragement for other parents-"Don't take for granted your kids. Do stuff with them. Take them out. Just be a parent to your kids. Don't let them grow up on their own."

Warner tells KSLA News 12 that she is going to make sure that she and the rest of her family all learn how to swim.

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