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World AIDS Day in Maine

I attended my first World AIDS Day in Augusta this afternoon. Among the speakers were Andrew Bossie of , Governor John Baldacci, Reverend Dr Mark Doty of the Hammond Street Congregational Church of Bangor, Dr Dora Mills of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, and Bob MacFarlane. More about Bob later.

The event, held at the Statehouse’s Hall of Flags, was covered by WCSH’s Brian Yokono.

Eliza and Mike’s simple and silent stacking of the red links was… striking. I was in the back row (closest to them) and it was heartbreaking to realize the enormous number of Mainers each link represented. Eliza had shown the links to me prior to the speeches and described the numbers of Mainers- but somehow, watching them work their way through that huge length of paper demonstrated more than the simple number.

Not just a number. Lives touched and affected. Families and communities.

A moving testimonial was given by Bob MacFarlane of Augusta, who kindly gave me his notes afterwards as well as permission to share the text of his speech:


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