Ceremony planned at Charlie Howard Memorial in Bangor

Posted May 17, 2011, at 8:56 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A ceremony reaffirming the Charlie Howard Memorial as a community symbol of dignity and tolerance will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21, near the State Street bridge.

In July 1984, Charlie Howard, a 23-year-old openly gay man, was thrown off the State Street bridge to his death by three teens who accosted him.

Recently, an act of vandalism left the plaque at the memorial spray-painted with offensive words, organizers of the ceremony said. Two individuals worked to remove the paint. Saturday’s ceremony also will honor the community residents who have worked to maintain the monument over the years.

A consortium of groups and members of the Bangor community will participate in the event, which is open to the public. Organizers describe the event as “an opportunity to reaffirm that demeaning behavior corrodes the social fabric that binds us all.”

The event was organized by the Dignity for All Campaign of the group Power in Community Alliances. The campaign’s mission is “to defend groups being unfairly blamed and punished for economic problems not of their making, as well as those in the community who have experienced various forms of indignity and exclusion.”

For information, contact Tom Grogan, PICA director, 947-4203, 61 Main St., Suite 15, Box 7, Bangor, ME 04401. PICA is a 25-year-old Bangor community organization concerned with issues of peace and economic justice across borders.

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