Recently, this year, the governor appointed a “Task Force for the Recruitment and Retention of a Young Workforce for the State of New Hampshire”, obviously to try to find new ways to encourage young marrieds to move to the state. The task force came up with some ideas about how to bring people into the state, but in doing so, they stepped on a sacred cow. The state motto is “Live Free, or die.” It’s a quote from a Revolutionary War hero, General John Stark, who made the statement in 1809. The entire quotation from General Stark was “Live Free or die. Death is not the worst of evils.” It’s a bold statement, and the people of New Hampshire have been proud to adopt it. It was officially adopted as the state motto in 1945, at the successful conclusion of World War II. It is displayed on all entrances to the state, and on the license plates of the cars. Or rather it was displayed until the Task Force came up with their conclusions. They stated
“Our State portrays an unfriendly message that every individual has to succeed on their own, rather than count on a support system for assistance. Live free or die is not a friendly, supporting message that appeals to young people.” Their recommendation was to change the state motto to “You’re going to love it here.” Now, that’s a very nice thing to say, and it is true, anyone going to New Hampshire will love it there. But, one of the main reasons you will love New Hampshire is the spirit of the people. Now, I will admit that they have been very lax lately. A lot of liberals from Massachusetts and New York have moved to New Hampshire, and gotten themselves elected into key positions in the state. They sneaked in a lot of laws that had people grumbling, like civil unions, and lately, gay marriages, but by and large, the citizens thought to themselves, “Well, it doesn’t affect me. No big deal.” And isn’t that the way it always is? We don’t react, until it hits us right smack in the face.