BANGOR - "He was a human being."
30 years after the murder of Charlie Howard, people in Bangor are using his death to spread the importance of restorative justice, the theme of his memorial this year. "It's a catalyst to help bring understanding into our world so that this sort of things just don't happen," said Worship Leader at Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor, Laurie Cartier.
Charlie was thrown over the bridge on State Street, bullied and beaten for being an openly gay man. After holding a service at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor, those in attendence tossed flowers into the Kenduskeag Stream to honor his life.
"How Charlie was treated by his peers, this just seems like something that Charlie could have benefited from," said Linda Fogg, who spoke on behalf of restorative justice, "if it had been in school had been in the community, just seems like restorative justice could have helped." Restorative justice was chosen as the topic because it's a subject that many who knew Charlie feel he would be passionate about. It brings together people who are dealing with a similar issue and can discuss how something affects them, bringing the perpetrator closer to understanding as well.
"It helps people see each other as real people,"Cartier said. "He would have been able to reconcile with these people way before anything happened," said Fogg. Daniel Williams, who helped to build a plaque in Charlie's honor said, "Differences, there's no need in being killed over it."
The plaque was created in the words of Williams, to engage others and learn: "Talk to them and find out what's the difference between them and you." A testiment to his legacy invoking thought before action.
Patrick is a Southern boy at heart and was raised in Gadsden, Alabama, an hour northeast of Birmingham, AL. He is a General Assignment Reporter for ABC 7/FOX 22, having joined the news team in March 2014 and has a passion for getting to know the issues that affect the lives of Bangor and Maine residents. He is from small town America too so don’t be afraid to approach him with story ideas and questions. His passion for Broadcast News began at a young age and is now living out his dream.
He is not a stranger to the northeast! He graduated from Boston University’s Masters Program in Broadcast Journalism in December. During his time at BU, he did everything from doing Play-by-Play for Women’s Hockey games to reporting on the Boston Marathon Bombings and the 50th Anniversary of the John F. Kennedy Assassination. Patrick held internships with Newton News, ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, AL and Comcast Sportsnet New England. He was voted Best Newcomer to WTBU Sports and was the budget editor for a student run news site called Boston University News Service that won two awards from the Online News Association for their Marathon Bombing Coverage.
Before attending Boston University, Patrick attended Birmingham-Southern College where he played four years of college football. In his free time, he loves to exercise and is a football fanatic. He loves his Auburn Tigers football! War Eagle!!! He also loves the Atlanta Braves. If you ever see him out in Bangor, feel free to ask him about football strategy. He loves talking X’s and O’s.