BELFAST — As in other towns and cities in Maine and around the country, area residents gathered at Post Office Square Thursday evening for a vigil marking the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Some 200 people gathered in Portland’s Monument Square Thursday night for a “Day of Remembrance and Action,” while a similar rally was held in Bangor that afternoon. Several state and community groups organized the Jan. 6 vigils, which also were held in Camden and Bucksport.

Locally, Rep. Jan Dodge, D-Belfast, addressed a gathering of about 30 people who assembled at 5:30 p.m. Dodge recognized the importance of remembering the assault last January on our democratic process.

Calling the attack “a dark day in our nation’s history,” Dodge said, “When we sat in our high school government class, we did not fully consider the phrases in our textbooks — ‘peaceful transfer of power,’ ‘rule of law,’ ‘consent of the governed.’ …

“Violence is never the answer!” she declared. “We must stand to protect our voting rights and voting process! We must respect and believe in our election officials and poll workers! We must speak up for our democracy!”

Other speakers urged those present to contact their U.S. senators and representatives on the voting rights bills now in play in Congress.

One attendee, Eric Anderson of Belfast, emailed that “There was a good deal of exchange of views among the participants. Generally, a feeling of deep concern over the state of our democracy.”

The Belfast gathering was organized by Ridgely Fuller.

Group gathers at the corner of Main and High streets Jan. 6 to take part in the candlelight vigil marking the one-year anniversary of the Capitol insurrection. Courtesy of Eric Anderson