American Freedom – Vital to Preserve
Karen and Jay share thoughts on the importance of passing freedom on to the next generation.
As Americans, freedom is the value that we hold most precious. Our belief in freedom for the individual lies at the very core of what it means to be an American. In fact, we hold this belief so dear that generations of Americans have fought for it, sacrificed for it, and died to protect it. Yet, as President Ronald Reagan famously said:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
It is about this that I would like to talk with you. In the United States, there has always existed a kind of an unwritten rule between generations that guarantees the preservation of our freedoms and our way of life. It’s not something that can be found explicitly written in documents like the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence. Instead, it’s a social contract of sorts that each of us as Americans is bound to – like a solemn oath. It exists to ensure that what we hold dear is passed on to our children, grandchildren and beyond. It’s essential to the survival of our values and our freedom.
The famed philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke once stated, “Society is indeed a contract, a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.” We may not regularly speak or hear about this unwritten rule, or even actively think about it, but it is integrated into almost every aspect of American life. However, there are moments when we must give it more attention, when it requires a comprehensive examination to ensure we’re fulfilling our end of the bargain to future generations. When we fail to do so, we jeopardize the preservation of our democracy.
So how do we do this? How do ensure that freedom is guaranteed for future generations? It starts first by making sure it exists in our local communities. Last week, we spoke about the importance of local news outlets. Guaranteeing a free and robust press at the local level allows for the free flow of ideas that can help communities flourish. In addition to that, make sure we’re championing local businesses, free enterprise, and the American entrepreneurial spirit. But most importantly, we need to make sure that our educational system and extra-curricular programs, from pre-k to continuing education teach American history, civics and share the basic principles of our Founding, our heritage and what it means to be an American. Sadly, today, we find this lacking in so many venues – and therefore, need to take aggressive, positive action to remedy this at all levels. The good news is that if we commit ourselves to this effort and act now – we have within our power the ability to pass the torch of freedom to the next generation.
This is just a starting point. As we face continued threats to our freedoms at home and abroad, let’s commit ourselves to taking vigorous action – Let’s do all we can to preserve the precious freedom that so many have fought and died for. Our collective actions can ensure that our way of life is preserved for those who come after us. Not just for their sake, but for the sake of democracy throughout the world. We have always been a beacon of hope for those across the world who aspire to live under freedom. We can and must pass this legacy on to the next generation. It is our duty to do so.
Fascinating Museums in the Granite State
New Hampshire’s borders hold within them a host of interesting facts, figures and stories – as well as art, artifacts and more - many of which are to be found in the state’s surprisingly many – and terrifically interesting museums. These fascinating venues and their collections are an attempt to capture the past, present, and future, while honoring both people and topics.
For example, there are a number of museums in the Granite State dedicated to our history. The Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner has outdoor and indoor exhibits, including the Medicine Wood Trail, which explains the history of how Native Americans used natural materials for everyday life. In Wolfeboro is located the Wright Museum of World War II, which displays fully operational military vehicles from a “seminal period in American history.” The Millyard Museum in Manchester strives to preserve the history of mills and mill workers in New Hampshire.
Scattered throughout the state are museums that focus on other specific topics. The New England Ski Museum highlights one of New Hampshire's favorite winter pastimes. In Warner is the New Hampshire Telephone Museum which tells of the legacy of family-owned and operated telephone companies that once dominated New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro is a hands-on museum that invites visitors to experience a ride in their replica 1928 Hacker-Craft mahogany boat, the “Millie B.” on Lake Winnipesaukee. In Laconia, there is the American Classic Arcade Museum, where adults and children can enjoy the classic pastime of arcades. In Londonderry, there is the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire which is also a great spot to watch airplanes take off and land. If you find yourself in North Conway, take a look at the North Conway Model Railroad Club's replica of the North Conway Station and train yard.
There are also many notable art museums, including the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hanover, the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts and the Newport Arts and Library Center.
There is truly a museum for everybody in New Hampshire. All of them are well worth the time to explore and learn about the cool facts and collections they offer.
The Many Ways Up Mount Washington!
Recently some friends of Karen and mine were planning a vacation through the North Country of New Hampshire. They would be driving their car to visit shops in our many beautiful towns. I told them that a Granite State ‘rite of passage’ is to take your car up the Mount Washington Auto Road. Well, that got me thinking, besides driving our own cars, what else has gone up the Mount Washington Auto Road – and when?
As it turns out, the first official transportation vehicle to ascend the Auto Road occurred in August of 1861. The plan was for Col. John Hitchcock, owner of the local Alpine House, along with local dignitaries, to be the first to drive up the mountain – and do so in a horse drawn carriage. However, Glen House owner, Col. Joseph Thompson (and Col. Hitchcock’s arch rival) wanted to be the first person to do it. So, three weeks before Hitchcock’s scheduled climb, Thompson went up the Auto Road and documented his adventure by posing at the top, thus beating his rival and becoming the first person to drive up the Auto Road.
For many years, horse drawn carriages brought people up the Auto Road but not nearly as many as the Cog Railway. A fun little fact: The guided tour vehicles that you can take up the Auto Road almost year-round are still called “Carriages”, in honor of the first guided tour vehicles used.
Beyond, the many cars, carriages and train rides to the top, there are a ton of other fun and exciting events organized around getting up the Auto Road.
How about Mini Coopers? This past June, ‘Mini’s on the Mountain’ kicked off its 20th year with each year supporting a different charity. Hundreds of Mini Coopers drove the 7.6 mile auto road for a good cause.
And, you can’t beat this. Thanks to Northeast Delta Dental the 61st Annual (Running) Road Race took place on June 18th this year. It’s a 7.6-mile climb – with the wonderful, deceptively encouraging motto: ‘Only One Hill!’ I’ve actually completed this race. Grueling 4,650 vertical feet. 22 percent maximum grade. The highest mountain in the northeast.
Or, how bout this? In August, the 49th Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Climb will take place. Cyclists not only race for the best times on the course but do it on the fundraising gridiron as well. Teams raise money for K-12 environmental education programs.
The Adaptive Sports Partners organization will ascend up over 6,000 feet at the end of July for a good cause. Teams will travel up the 7.6 mile course not only by themselves but will be attached as a “Mule” to assist in getting an athlete needing assistance to the top. If you can believe it, thousands of people have taken this challenge and they expect hundreds more to attend this year! In 2021, this event raised $154,000 to aid in the funding of outdoor activities for those with disabilities. A truly amazing feat on so many levels!
Alright, now let's get back to vehicles. ATV and UTVs get a chance to seek the peak in annual events. One of the quickest sell-out events for the Auto Road is the annual Memorial Ride to benefit the New Hampshire ATV Club, Thousands of dollars are raised and many attend to show off their cool outdoor power toy and take it to new heights as it makes it to the top.
There have been so many cool vehicles over the years; motorized, non-motorized, horse drawn, and even ‘Fred Flintstone style’ - using feet to propel vehicles. No matter how to get to the top of the Auto Road, people are finding ways to make it happen.
If you haven’t earned a bumper sticker for driving your vehicle up the Auto Road, I encourage you to do so. It's a great wholesome New Hampshire tradition and you will take your place in the history books dating all the way back to 1861!
Positive Profile of the Week: Chuck Douglas
This week, we are honored to highlight a very special New Hampshire citizen – who embodies the Granite State tradition of public service – Attorney Chuck Douglas.
Chuck Douglas may well just have one of the most impressive profiles of any attorney in the State of New Hampshire. In addition to being a practicing attorney, Chuck has actually ‘written the book’ (or ‘books’) in several key areas of law – especially legal matters involving family law. Not surprisingly, Chuck’s writings are highly respected and often cited as authoritative sources by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire. Yet, the most interesting thing about Chuck is the breadth of his interests, accomplishments, and service to the community.
Chuck is a longtime resident of Bow, New Hampshire, just south of Concord. He began his legal career in 1968 in Manchester where as a very young attorney, less than three years, later he would become the legal counsel to Governor Meldrim Thomson. His success in this position then soon led to a judicial appointment – for several years serving as a Superior Court judge and then a distinguished tenure as a justice on the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Did I mention he did all of this while serving in New Hampshire’s National Guard, rising to the rank of Colonel?
After his court career, Chuck then successfully ran for Congress representing New Hampshire Second District and serving on the House Judiciary Committee before returning home to continue his law practice. However, Chuck can never stand to do just one thing at a time and has continued to serve his community in multiple ways – having served on the Bow Town Budget Committee as well as forming and operating the ‘Bow Times,’ a local newspaper which is printed and mailed as well as being available in 28 pickup locations. He lives with his wife Debra, who also has a distinguished career, currently serving as Chair of New Hampshire’s lottery commission!
Accomplished attorney, legal scholar, judge, Supreme Court Justice, Congressman, newspaperman, Colonel, and a true gentleman – Chuck Douglas represents the very best of New Hampshire - thoroughly committed to public service and devoted to his community. Thank you, Chuck!
Quotes of the Week: The Next Generation
“Leaders are like gardeners ... As leaders we are not only responsible for harvesting our own success but for cultivating the success of the next generation.”
“A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.”
James Freeman Clarke
“Be kind, don't judge, and have respect for others. If we can all do this, the world would be a better place. The point is to teach this to the next generation.”
“God put us here to prepare this place for the next generation. That's our job. Raising children and helping the community, that's preparing for the next generation.”
“Who will take responsibility for raising the next generation?”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg