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Let Freedom Ring!

Celebrating Our Independence!

Karen and Jay celebrate the spirit of independence and honor the unique history of our American republic.

“A republic, if you can keep it.”  This is the famous quote from Benjamin Franklin as he left the Convention Hall, after the creation of our Constitution in 1787.  He had been approached by a group of citizens who had asked him what form of government the delegates had created.  He was not only answering the question – but he was also giving a subtle warning that it would be up to all of us – for generations going forward to preserve and protect what had been created in that hall.


Now, nearly 250 years later, we continue to carry the torch forward.  Celebrating out independence on July 4th and holding dear our unique form of government – an experiment in self-government that has endured all these years and that has created the freest, most prosperous and most successful nation the world has ever known.


As we commemorate Independence Day this year, it is crucial to remember the sacrifices made by those who came before us to secure the freedoms we enjoy today. It is a day to honor the perseverance and dedication of generations past who fought for the ideals of democracy and self-governance.  While we enjoy our July 4th celebrations with barbecues, fireworks, and family gatherings – Independence Day is also much more than these fun events.   It is a special occasion that serves as a poignant reminder of the responsibilities we bear in upholding and protecting the rights and liberties enshrined in our Constitution.  In essence, it is an occasion that reminds us of the importance of being true to the admonition of Dr. Franklin – “A republic, if you can keep it.”

As such, Independence Day is not just a day of festivities, but a solemn occasion to reflect on the blessings of living in a nation founded on democratic principles. It is a time to recommit ourselves to preserving the legacy of our founders and safeguarding the institutions that define our republic. As we celebrate our independence this year, let us be reminded of the importance of unity, democracy, and the ongoing work needed to ensure a future where freedom and justice prevail for all – and where we hold dear and do all we can to preserve, protect and honor our blessed republic.  Thank you, Benjamin Franklin!

General Lafayette - Helping Freedom Ring!

Known as America’s friend, Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette – or more commonly to us as General Lafayette - was a special friend to the United States during the Revolution and beyond – and as such he has earned a special place in our history as well as in our hearts.


As a teenager, Lafayette came to America to help with the American Revolution. Not sure what to do with him when he first arrived, General George Washington quickly grew fond of the young man and essentially adopted him as his own son - the mutual affection was so strong that Lafayette named his first son after Washington.

General Lafayette jumped into the fray where he fought tirelessly for America's independence from Great Britain and was wounded at the battle of Brandywine. Nonetheless, thereafter, he successfully led an independent command during the famed Virginia campaign and served bravely at Yorktown. He ultimately earned the rank of General, a title that he preferred over his aristocratic title of Marques.

He was a staunch supporter of abolition and advocated for freedom and independence for all. He also promoted the ideas of independence and liberty during the French Revolution which earned him the title of “A Hero of Two Worlds.”

Fifty years after the American Revolution, in 1824-25, Lafayette came back to America on his farewell tour, visiting all of the states at the time, including New Hampshire. It was on this visit that New Hampshire was for the first time called ‘The Granite State!’

Even into Lafayette’s later year, his zeal for freedom never diminished and as such never stopped helping to support revolutions around the world – even assisting in the 1830-1831 Polish Revolution by fundraising and advocating for the Polish people.

In 2002, Lafayette was posthumously made an honorary citizen of the United States, and his legacy of freedom and liberty for all continues to this day.  It is only fitting that we take this moment on July 4th, 2024 to honor and celebrate this great friend of American freedom and independence.

What You Can Learn in NH on Independence Day

“Knowledge is Power” … Thomas Jefferson  


New Hampshire, with its rich history and pivotal role in the American Revolutionary War, offers numerous special places to visit and to learn - for those interested in knowing more about the struggle for independence as well as the notable heroes of that era.  For all of you with a bit of good ol’ patriotic curiosity, here are some key landmarks and historical sites that provide a deep dive into our state's rich Revolutionary War heritage.  So, take a good look into the list below and make sure to enjoy some of these terrific locations.


Fort at No. 4… 


Located in Charlestown, the Fort at No. 4 is a reconstructed fortified village originally established in the 1740’s. It served as a key defensive position during both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Visitors can explore the fort and its surrounding buildings, gaining insights into the daily lives of the settlers and the military strategies employed to protect against British forces and Native American raids. Reenactments and interactive exhibits bring this period vividly to life.


Independence Museum … 

Situated in Exeter, the American Independence Museum is housed in the Ladd-Gilman House, which served as the state treasury during the Revolutionary War. The museum features a collection of revolutionary-era artifacts, including an original draft of the U.S. Constitution and one of the few surviving copies of the Declaration of Independence. The museum offers guided tours and educational programs that delve into New Hampshire's role in achieving American independence.


John Paul Jones House … 

Located in Portsmouth, the John Paul Jones House is dedicated to the famous naval commander who played a crucial role in the Revolutionary War. Jones, often referred to as the "Father of the American Navy," stayed in this house during his time in Portsmouth. The museum offers exhibits on Jones' life, his naval battles, and the broader maritime history of the Revolution.


General John Stark, one of New Hampshire's most celebrated Revolutionary War generals, is honored at Stark Park in Manchester. Stark led the colonial forces to a decisive victory at the Battle of Bennington in 1777. The park features a statue of Stark and a historical marker detailing his contributions to the war effort. It's a serene place to reflect on the bravery and leadership of one of New Hampshire's key military figures.


Another significant site in Portsmouth, the Warner House is one of the oldest urban brick residences in New England. Built in 1716, it was home to Colonel Jonathan Warner, who played a role in the Revolutionary War. The house's historical exhibits provide a glimpse into the life of a wealthy colonial family and their involvement in the war.


Located on the coast in New Castle, Fort Constitution played a strategic role in defending Portsmouth Harbor. It was the site of one of the first acts of the American Revolution, the capture of Fort William and Mary by local patriots in 1774, which provided much-needed gunpowder for the colonial forces. Today, visitors can explore the remains of the fort and learn about its historical significance. Please check as the website says, ‘currently closed due to pending repairs.’


These landmarks and museums across New Hampshire offer a comprehensive view of the state's Revolutionary War history, honoring the contributions of its citizens and the famous generals who fought for American independence. They provide an immersive experience for anyone interested in understanding the challenges and triumphs of the Revolutionary Era and I would encourage you to try and visit at least one of them during this July 4th season.


Positive Profile of the Week:  Virginia Drye – Next Gen NH Historian and More!

This week we are delighted to highlight a close friend and true leader for the next generation in New Hampshire.

Despite a relatively young age, still in her twenties, Virginia has already accomplished so very much.  Running for public office as a candidate for State Representative, serving as Chair of the New Hampshire Young Republicans, working as a reporter and key member of the staff of the Claremont Eagle Times newspaper, doing an internship her New Hampshire Executive Councilor, taking on leadership roles for the Cornish Fair and more – all while pursuing her degree from Liberty University. 

Yet, one particular example of her work speaks volumes about her character – especially her motivating principles as well as her perseverance and ingenuity in pursuing an objective she really cares about.  Here goes:

Scattered throughout the state of New Hampshire are numerous historic markers identifying the trail that French General Lafayette took in 1824 and 1825 as part of his farewell tour throughout the state as part of his nation’s farewell tour during those later years of his life.  The markers note the historical significance and details of Lafayette’s visit to each town.

Interestingly, Virginia found her passion for promoting Lafayette after she met with the founder of the Lafayette Trail, Julien Icher, in 2018. In fact, she became so enthused that she then decided to use her internship with her New Hampshire Executive Councilor Joseph Kenney to take on a project to erect one of those markers on the State House grounds.

As it turns out, putting something on the State House grounds is not exactly easy, as multiple branches of government and agencies have oversight of that location. The fact that the marker was a donation to the state from the Lafayette Trail project added an extra layer of complexity.

For eighteen months, Virginia persisted, even when one of the department heads told her that it was impossible to get a marker on the State House lawn because of the layers of complications.

Some of her tasks included testifying in front of joint committees of the House and the Senate (such as the Facilities and Historical Committees), advocating for them to approve the marker at a specific location on the State House lawn, and approving a contract to bring forward to the Executive Council to accept the donation of the sign. There were other elements noting Lafayette’s visit already on the lawn, including the Liberty Elm, which was a replacement of the tree that Lafayette planted when he was here in New Hampshire, as well as a plaque from the Daughters’ of the American Revolution noting his visit in 1825 to the State House. All these factors made the location where the marker now stands the appropriate place to put it.

On May 20th, 2022, on Lafayette Day, Governor Sununu unveiled the new marker and shot off three rounds of the Lyndeborough Lafayette Artillery Cannon in celebration. This unveiling was the first installation on State House grounds in 72 years.

This year, during Lafayette Day, Virginia was referred to by Governor Sununu as the “Godmother of Lafayette Day,” noting her passion for Lafayette and New Hampshire. Virginia is also working with the American Friends of Lafayette to help plan the 200th anniversary of Lafayette’s visit next year. Thanks, Virginia for helping keep history alive in New Hampshire!  You truly are a leading light in this next wonderful generation!


Quote of the Week:  Declaring Our Independence!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." – Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence



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