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Mark became a victim of gun violence 15 years ago this week

My son Mark Woolman Horner was born August 24, 1973. From his earliest days, we knew he had musical gifts. He wanted to play the trombone from the time he first heard Tubby the Tuba. I told him when his arms grew long enough we would buy him a trombone.

He went to Tanglewood Music Center and played in the Greater Boston Youth Symphony. He was accepted to The Juilliard School in New York City and studied for four years with Joe Alessi, principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic. After graduation in 1995, he played with the San Antonio Symphony and became their principal trombonist while also substituting for the New York Philharmonic.He loved Phish and traveled around the country to hear them play. He loved his friends and family. He admired his father and was close to his mother and three siblings.

We saw him soar and delighted in his accomplishments, but more than that we loved him—his sense of humor, his warmth, his presence.

On December 14, 1998, he was having dinner at home with a friend, and a man came to the door and shot him to death. Mark was 25 years old.

Our lives will never be the same. I long to see him come through the door for every family gathering, or for any reason at all. I want the phone to ring. I long to hear his voice again.

Today, Bar Harbor Brass Week is his legacy here on Mount Desert Island, where young brass students gather to learn from incredible teachers and perform for the community. But I want Mark's legacy to reach further.

I am a passionate advocate for common-sense gun violence prevention measures that will spare other mothers the loss that I have suffered. I want you to stand with me against pointless gun violence and the toll it takes on our communities. I want you to remember Mark and all of the lives that were touched when he was taken from us. Together, we must promise never to forget.
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