Twenty-seven years after her son was killed, Devorah Halberstam remembers him with a mother's pride. But the anniversary of his death remains especially hard.
"Now, I think about the grandchildren I won't have from Ari, the life that he just couldn't have," Halberstam said. "I mean, he was 16 years old. He's frozen in time for me."
Back in 1994, a gunman opened fire on a van carrying Ari Halberstam and several other kids on the ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge. The teenager was fatally shot in the head in an attack motivated by anti-Semitic hate.
"I know what hatred tastes like. I live with it every single second of my life, and I spend all my time trying to help change that," Devorah Halberstam said.
Since her son's death, Devorah Halberstam has become an tireless activist against terrorism and hate crimes. She spent the anniversary of Ari's death delivering a Zoom lecture to Brooklyn prosecutors, advocating for crime victims.
"Victims have to be listened to and heard," she said.
It's part of the legacy she's building for her son, even as flowers still arrive at her home to offer comfort on a day that can be particularly hard to bear. The memories, and her work co-founding the Jewish Children's Museum, keep her hopeful for a future without hate.
"It's up to us to change the conversation from evil to good, and to teach all the children around us that it's up to them to make a change, and I believe that this is what Ari would want," she said.