The world could use a lot more common sense these days.
Politicians sure could use a lot more common sense in Washington, and more could also be used in Concord.
Common sense covers the basics. Only girls should play girls’ sports. Politics don’t belong in our children’s classrooms, and parents know what is best for their kids. Common sense tells us we should glorify true heroes who do good for our community, like law enforcement officers and veterans.
It seems like more common sense could be used in picking our historical markers in New Hampshire, too.
The disgraceful placement of a historic highway marker in Concord honoring Communist Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a devout Stalinist and prominent organizer in the Communist Party, has elevated the need for an overhaul of the process for awarding historic markers in our state.
The Division of Historical Resources oversees that process, evaluating nominations based on the significance of the person, event, or site being nominated. There was a clear lack of common sense in approving this new marker.
There are so many Granite State residents, organizations, and events that would have been worthy of recognition instead.
We should replace the disgraced marker with one dedicated to former Concord resident Teresa M. Murphy. She was an Irish-born woman who emigrated to the United States in 1910 and later died while serving her country in World War I. She graduated from the New Hampshire State Hospital Training School in 1914 at age 23 and, within two years, declared her intention to become a U.S. citizen. Murphy worked as a nurse, caring for American soldiers suffering from tuberculosis at a base in Vauclaire, France, and later in London. Sadly, she passed away from the same disease at age 27, just two days before Armistice Day on November 11, 1918.
We could honor the nine residents that Concord lost during the Vietnam War, all of whom served as Marines or members of the Army. The average age of those American heroes when they were killed was just 20 years old. Their service and sacrifice should be remembered with a historic marker to educate the next generation.
Another worthy example is from the Seacoast. The Pease Greeters is a volunteer organization that has welcomed over 310,000 American troops passing through Portsmouth International Airport on their way to or from conflict zones around the world. This group of dedicated volunteers should also be considered for a historic marker to recognize their important contribution to supporting our troops.
The Division of Historical Resources accepts nominations for historical highway markers for this year through November 1, 2023. The process must be overhauled and improved to ensure common sense prevails.
Until then, and going forward, Granite Staters should nominate real heroes and organizations that truly make an impact on our great state. There is an endless amount truly worthy of the honor.