Keep an even keel

Bar Harbor and other Mount Desert Island communities are reeling this week from a horrible one-two punch: the death of a young local woman and the arrest of a young local man in connection with her death.

The closeness and generosity among people and families in our towns is enormous. Community support has helped, and will continue to help, the victim’s family and everyone struggling with how to wrap their heads around what’s happened.

Grief, fear and anger are understandable. But in such a fraught situation, it’s more important than ever to respect the rule of law and those we’ve entrusted with its enforcement.

There will be times when the wheels of the system seem to be turning slowly, and sometimes mistakes may be made. But our imperfect justice system is far better than vigilantism. A small town gets even smaller when rumors and sniping fly on social media. Both the victim and the accused have families, and both have rights.

Our communities quickly could become uncomfortable places should we fall short of the kindness, respect and forbearance needed by the situation. It’s everyone’s responsibility to assure that doesn’t happen. And for those wishing they could do more to help, our local fire and ambulance services are in need of volunteers.

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