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Xavier Usanga's funeral

Dawn Usanga, Xavier Usanga's mother, is embraced as she walks into her son's funeral at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. Xavier, 7, was shot and killed as he played outside his family home during daylight hours in his Hyde Park neighborhood on Aug. 12. Photo by Christine Tannous,

Regarding “Taken too soon” (Aug. 18): Dawn Usanga’s statement, “In a way I’m kind of happy he died at 7. These streets didn’t have a chance to ruin him,” is the saddest and most profound statement possible in response to this epidemic of tragedies. That the death of a child could bring solace that a future could be even worse leaves me speechless.

My heart goes out to the families, friends and communities of those devastated by these tragedies, and perhaps cries even more for those who remain untouched.

Loren Ludmerer • St Louis