February 1-7 is National Gun Violence Survivors Week. Join us to honor survivor voices.

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Elgina Smith — Our A.J.

In memory of Anthony Jerome Smith jr When mourners meet they mend

Why — why us, why our son, why now?

That is the question that lies on the hearts of many families all across the city, state and country. Unfortunately, the last two decades have been a war zone for many Americans. Destroyed communities have bred torn personalities and produced broken-hearted people.

It’s all cyclical behavior that can’t be looked over any longer. There’s no immunity for this; it’s spreading like a virus, affecting everyone in close contact.

Six years ago, on a beautiful February day, my family experienced firsthand what the definition of homicide meant. Not from Webster’s dictionary, but our very own personal synopsis. We had been infected that quickly. We lost A.J. — he was taken from us, PERIOD.

Anthony Jerome Smith Jr. — our son, their brother, nephew, uncle, cousin and friend. The smart, funny, loving, perfectionist. The lyrically talented, diehard Louisville Cardinal fan. (Mr. Cool Guy —gone.)

How could this be? We followed all the rules, did everything that society’s manuscripts told us to do.
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My husband and I offered our children love, stability, structure, standards, goals and God.

In any order, for the most part, we checked off every box.

And still…

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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