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.