By People Staff
November 09, 2009 12:00 PM


“Elizabeth Smart is a stunning example of courage, grace and intelligence even under the most horrific conditions”

Darlene F. Pidskalny

Cromwell, Conn.

I have to say how proud I am of Elizabeth Smart for having the courage, strength and determination to face Brian David Mitchell. Being someone who was once in her shoes, I understand how difficult it is to face something so painful and explain such dark details to so many strangers. It can be humiliating and extremely scary. Elizabeth is a wonderful example that none of us has to hide from such a deep pain. We can face anything head-on and heal from it.

Melissa Hudson

Pittsburg, Calif.

What valuable lessons Elizabeth Smart has taught us all. Life isn’t fair. Bad things do happen to good people. Face your darkest moments head-on. With a strong faith in God and in yourself, and the love and support of family and friends, you can overcome even the most unspeakable situations. She is a remarkably courageous young woman whose example we all should follow. It gives me hope that there is such a shining star out there.


Tallahassee, Fla.

I read your story about Elizabeth Smart several times. Your interview with her touched my heart. Her courage, strength and composure are amazing. She is wise and well adjusted beyond her years, which speaks to the fact that she was raised in such a loving, supportive environment.

Carla Evans

Marietta, Ga.


I am in disbelief of the comments that Letterman is devoted and loves his wife and son. I have no doubt he loves his son, but when he has an affair with another woman and he still thinks that is love, he needs to get some serious help.

Starr Veronick

Rawlings, Md.

Good night, Dave. I’m sorry, but I’ll be changing my late night channel. To me, a man without morals just isn’t funny.

Connie Jones

San Diego, Calif.


I love seeing young celebrities with their children, and I love seeing Angelina and Brad sharing their love—not just with each other and their own children, but with the children of the world. I especially appreciated Angelina’s comment that “we all share this burden.”

Carol Black

Piney Creek, N.C.


Not sure if you keep records on this, but I am proud to say that I have been a subscriber of PEOPLE magazine for 35 years. From day one I have read, enjoyed and looked forward to receiving my copy every week. I have changed, as have the news and celebrities (I was 20 when you started), and I hope you and I are around for many more years! My first copy of PEOPLE with Mia Farrow is safely tucked away in a box in my attic; I must have known it was going to be a good thing.

Robin Gershen

Charlotte, N.C.



Three weeks after testifying at an evidentiary hearing against her alleged kidnapper Brian David Mitchell, Elizabeth Smart has turned her attention to religious training at Brigham Young University and her upcoming missionary work in France. “She isn’t thinking about the hearing anymore,” says her father, Ed. “She is getting ready for her trip.” Smart also just attended a California women’s conference, where she took part in a discussion on overcoming the unimaginable. Meanwhile Mitchell’s wife, Wanda Barzee, has been made competent with antipsychotic drugs, according to officials at Utah State Hospital; and following a Nov. 19 hearing, a judge will decide if she is competent to stand trial. A judge still needs to decide on Mitchell’s sanity.