The Three Rivers Communities. Three towns connected by solidarity and a will to survive. Placed in the foot hills of Maine set away from the rest of the world. My home. Half an hour from the closest McDonalds or Subway. Near an hour to the closest Wal Mart. A population of roughly 4,000 people over an area of about half the size of Rhode Island. It's place where I can walk into any store or restaurant and say hello to 3/4's of the people sitting there because everyone knows everyone. You have to here to make it. I love my home. I was raised by these very communities after my parents passed.
And I watched their hearts get broke.
September 14, 2008 was a day that will ring in these towns memories forever. A 31 year old man broke into one of the down town businesses in Milo and stole a case of alcohol, to cover his tracks he set a fire, which in turn burned down 5 businesses and put almost a dozen people out of house and home. Over a case of alcohol. One man, over a something so stupid took a town that was struggling, giving its last breath to survive and took the legs out from underneath it crippling it. Landmarks were destroyed, jobs were gone, homes and possessions were lost.
I often wonder what was going through his head when he set the fire, because this didn't just affect a few people, this affected thousands. Thousands who grew up in this town, who frequented those businesses. I have watched tears shed over this tragedy more than once, over something so ridiculous, stupid and unnecessary.
2 days ago they finally made an arrest. I hope when the judge hands out his sentence, that he takes well into his consideration just how much this hurt not just the owners and the tenants, but the so many people whose lives were changed by this event.
I'm usually a fair man...
I say strap him to a light pole in the center of town, right in the middle of town where he destroyed an entire block and let every person who was hurt by this take one swing. If he survives, lock him up for life and make him do mandatory jail work and every cent that he makes goes back to the town.
That punishment is not enough, but what I would really do to this man I cannot post in a public forum.