Nearly 100 people, families with children in carriages, students, friends, neighbors and strangers met at the Veterans Memorial Park in Newcastle on Monday evening.
The group, organized by Lisa Katz, carried candles lanterns and flashlights to illuminate the darkness on the rainy night as they walked together in solidarity to demonstrate a commitment to tolerance and peace.
“I was tired of wanting to stay in bed hiding under my covers, after the last two weeks of news,” said Katz, “We don’t have to live discouraged by the world, we can bring a little light.”
Katz gathered the group into a circle and welcomed supporters and the walk to the Damariscotta Baptist Church began.
Along the way people shopping downtown joined the walkers.
Bristol resident Daphne Stern carried a huge flag calling for “World Peace.”
As the group approached the intersection where they needed to cross the roads to the church, they were greeted by the Damariscotta Police who stopped traffic to see them safely across the street.
“Wow, things are different here,” said Paula Johnson, of Detroit, Mich. “At home they wouldn’t be helping a demonstration. I was just shopping and am so happy I joined this walk, what a nice community.”
The group was welcomed into the sanctuary at the Damariscotta Baptist Church where hot chocolate and cookies were waiting. There was no organized program and no speeches, but the crowd did sing together spontaneously before chatting together and heading home in the rain.
Katz was pleased with the turnout. “When we come together with tolerance and love, we are so much stronger than when we are alone with fear and hatred,” she said.