Charlie Howard Remembered In Bangor 

It happened 26-years ago. 23-year-old Charlie Howard was beaten and thrown off the State Street bridge by three teenagers in one of Bangor’s most infamous hate crimes. The folks at the Unitarian Univesalist Church say they’ll never forget the death of Charlie Howard. On Sunday they held their annual service to not only remember a life cut short but to also remember Charlie Howard, the person.Lee Giles has been a church member since 1975. “I knew Charlie,” she says, “he was a nice kid. I call him a kid, he was only 23, and once he relaxed and realized we weren’t going to give him a hard time he was friendly and supportive. He talked too much sometimes, just a kid you know.”Members from the church march from Park Street to the State Street bridge every year to honor Howard’s memory.Daniel Williams traveled from Augusta to join the march. “We need to reflect a lot,” he says, “we need to go back and look at what happened and why it happened. Compare it to today and people can see that there are changes.”Karen Robertson of Brewer says this is not a gay or straight issue, but a human issue. “You know I’m not gay, I’m not married, I just believe in equal rights. I don’t like other people telling people what to do.”The group threw flowers into the river. Charlie Howard’s mother has not returned to Bangor since the murder of her son. She asked the members of the congregation to throw a special white rose in the river for her. “She is not able to come up here either physically or emotionally it’s just too much,” says Giles. “But she asked that he be remembered, because it’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of what we are.”