While Rhode Island reacted to the events in Charlottesville (ably covered by Selene Means here) I was on vacation at Acadia National Park in Maine. I couldn’t get to Rhode Island for the Sunday night vigil or last night’s meeting at Bell St Chapel, but I did find one of many sister events held throughout the country in nearby Bar Harbor.
Here are some of the speakers I discovered there.
“I grew up here in this town, this is my home, but now I live in Charlottesville, Virginia,” said the woman in the video below, clutching her child, “It was really hard watching yesterday, not being there, knowing people on the street, knowing people on the ground, knowing people putting their lives at risk and at stake because there is no room for that kind of hate in anyone’s town. There is not room for that kind of hate.”
Lilly Doman lived in Charlottesville many years ago. “I look at what’s happening in America now, and as a Jew who lost many many family members in Europe, I can tell you that it’s hard for me. I know that every German in 1933 and 1934 was not a Nazi. Many of them thought it would go away. They thought that if they were just quiet and didn’t make waves that this would pass. And it didn’t pass…”
Kerrigan Mahoney is a faculty member at the University of Virginia. She was in Bar Harbor visiting her parents. Mahoney read from the statement of University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan on Saturday’s violence:
“Our community comes together in times of great need, and in the coming days we will continue an important dialogue and begin the healing process.
“In the days, weeks and months ahead, there will be important opportunities to discuss as a community the events of this past weekend and how our community of trust and mutual respect can further demonstrate and underscore our shared values.”
Finally, here are the haunting words of a woman recalling her memories of being 15 years old at the close of World War II and her reaction to learning about the Holocaust. (I was unable to get a good shot of the woman as she spoke because she was being supported by others as she spoke, but her words and her memories are worth hearing.)
“…and when we saw the bones at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, it was a shock. It crept up on most people, and we cannot ever let that happen here.”