Several people took a few minutes to speak, some about the night one year ago and some to speak about how New Bedford has changed since. It seems, thankfully, that the city has taken equality and community to heart and is really on the right track. It seems that even the victims of Puzzles would agree:
Robert Perry, one of the victims of the attack at Puzzles Lounge a year ago, said New Bedford is a better place now than it was then. "I know some significant things have happened," said Mr. Perry, who was shot, stabbed and struck in the face with a hatchet in the Feb. 1, 2006, attack by Jacob D. Robida. "Things have happened in the School Department and the Police Department. There are people who are listening. There are people who are aware of the problem."
I'll take Perry's word for it - if he thinks New Bedford's gone far enough, his hatchet to the face earned him the right to say it. There is no place for hate in this world. There is no place for inequality based merely on things like the color of your skin, what sex you're attracted to or any other trivial thing. Last night, people from New Bedford's Superintendent to the Mayor made that point. So did the community, who showed up in numbers.