On October 20, 2011, Roxanne Quimby apologized to a gathering of about 75 people in E. Millinocket, Maine. The scheduled meeting was to be a Q&A session for E. Millinocket residents. It turned out to be a well-planned ambush by her opponents who came armed with prepared remarks.
Roxanne’s comments in a Forbes magazine article created a firestorm of vicious, personal attacks from hundreds of people who commented on the inflammatory, one-sided article in the Bangor Daily News whose purpose was clearly to create more controversy surrounding Ms. Quimby’s wish to create a new national park in the Maine Woods.
It wasn’t that Roxanne’s remarks about Maine having a very high percentage of old, overweight citizens who are dependent upon government assistance were inaccurate; no one disputes that. What Roxanne was attempting to do was demonstrate that a new park would help diversify the economy in the region badly in need of jobs.
She is only guilty of a lack of judgement in making those comments and not understanding how her opponents would use them against her.
In her response to a sarcastic, opening comment by an elderly gentlemen, Roxanne offered her apology and asked for forgiveness. This public apology from a woman who has been vilified, demonized, and slandered in the Bangor Daily News for months because she wants to give her land to the National Park Service took a great deal of courage.
Roxanne Quimby will be admired for her generous gift of land to the people of the State of Maine and America, for her determination to face her attackers with respect and grace at every turn, and for the humility she displayed in making her public apology.
This whole trumped up affair is more a reflection on the lack of professionalism by the Bangor Daily News, and the character of anonymous slanderers who comment in the BDN.