It is with a heavy heart that I must remind us that all Granite Staters deserve a safe place to work. The recent shooting incident at New Hampshire Hospital and now the antisemitism incident in Merrimack painfully demonstrate how we need solidarity and community as Granite Staters now more than ever.
Our law enforcement community and first responders are always recognized during National Police Week and after incidents like last week. New Hampshire is an enduring community, and we need to keep our renowned spirit alive and vibrant in peaceful times as well as hard ones. One of the most direct ways we can prevent tragedies is simply by consistently being there for each other. I hope we all have the opportunity to reflect this Thanksgiving week and not only remember the life of U.S. Army veteran, former chief of police in Franklin, and New Hampshire Department of Safety Security Officer Bradley Haas but also rededicate ourselves to living in service to others and protecting each other.
I felt a profound sense of gratitude and solidarity attending the vigil for Chief Haas. Through the bone-chilling wind, we gathered as a community with a collective resolve to remember a hero and to be there for each other.
The way forward is community. It is not hate, violence, vandalism or destruction. Concerning the antisemitism incident in Merrimack, we at the SEA echo Gov. Chris Sununu’s sentiments: “The antisemitism, hate, and significant damage brought to Elbit America’s campus yesterday has no place in New Hampshire and will not be tolerated. I am confident law enforcement will work to bring those responsible for this vile act of hate to swift justice.”
We are also thankful that New Hampshire is bipartisan in this stance, and we echo Rep. Chris Pappas: “Peaceful protest and political expression are hallmarks of our civil discourse. Vandalism and violent acts are crimes to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I’m grateful to law enforcement for their work and that Elbit employees are safe.”
The truth is that the people who work at Elbit, akin to the people at New Hampshire Hospital, deserve to live and work without fear. People who come from out of state because they see us as a “soft target” are sincerely mistaken, and their actions will be met with our justice. Their violence will serve to bring us together in a tighter community. The troubles in the Middle East are complex and longstanding. We must address the root causes of the ongoing tensions and not make things worse or make people in the United States unsafe. Real change requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the concerns and needs of all communities.
To end with a nod to Gandhi, we must all be the change we want to see in the world. We need to devote ourselves to a sustained sense of community. Please take a movement to check on your friends, family, and coworkers this week. All Granite Staters deserve a safe place to work.