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When we forgive those who have caused us the most pain, healing is possible. Forgiveness is the most powerful tool we have to transform our pain into hope.

Howard G. Young, Jr. was shot and killed while standing on the street in Burlington, New Jersey, on November 25, 2016. The man who killed him was arrested, tried and convicted of first-degree murder on February 12, 2018.

This is Howie’s story.

My son Howie was a different kind of guy. He was fearless and kept me worried most of the time. In fact, he thrived on adventure and liked living dangerously. He was not a cuddly-type of person, and he seldom showed his true feelings. Some people might think that he was a “tough guy,” but he was quite the opposite. He was very sensitive and really had a good heart, so I’d like to think that he was a “rebel” — a kind of renegade in disguise. Some of my family members described him as determined, thankful, sunny, funny, appreciative, witty, precocious, lovable, active, sincere, sensitive, caring, curious and full of life. And he was all of those things and much more.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.