A pleasant duty for Senators is to represent the Governor when he is unable to attend special events. That was the case on Saturday when I stood in for the Governor and presented a proclamation from him to the people of Newbury as they dedicated their new veterans memorial.
The Newbury veterans memorial is beautiful and an asset to the community. And it was good to see the large turnout of residents and visitors for the dedication including many veterans. The selectmen, veterans memorial committee and all those who volunteered and contributed to the creation of the memorial deserve thanks and congratulations.
I grew up in a house on West Street in Milford, New Hampshire. The back of our property bordered the parade ground of the West Street Cemetery. In the middle of the parade ground was a veterans memorial that had been placed there after World War I. Every year it was the destination of the Memorial Day parade that moved from the center of town to the cemetery.
Having that memorial next to our backyard meant that the Odells were at every Memorial Day celebration. And often, when we had visitors, we would walk over and the adults would talk about the men and women the memorial honored and the stories of the wars they had served in. The youngsters, like me, took it all in.
Off to the side in a corner of the parade ground at the West Street Cemetery there are two gravestones. They are for two Civil War soldiers buried there; one fought for the south, the other for the north. They lie side by side. In simple words a little boy could understand, my earliest learning of the Civil War came from real or imagined stories about those two soldiers who fought on different sides in the great war that helped define our nation.
One hopes that the young people attending the ceremonies dedicating the new Newbury veterans memorial will remember the day and keep the stories alive of the importance of the contributions to our nation by all veterans, from Newbury and across the country. There are thousands of veterans memorials in America, in big cities and little towns, and every one of them is important. We add the Newbury memorial to that list.
Once in a while you meet someone for the first time and you take an immediate liking to them. That was the case with me when I first met Gary Lambert in the fall of 2010.
Gary was in an uphill race for a State Senate seat in Nashua. I had heard how hard he was working and there was a chance he might pull off an upset. And that is what happened. Two years ago, Gary beat a popular incumbent and won his seat by one of the smallest margins of any winner in the election.
Senator Lambert brought very unique talents and experience to the Senate. He was appointed to serve on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee which I chair. His contribution to the work of the committee over the past two years has been significant as readers will understand when they know his background.
Gary has been a patent attorney for nearly 30 years starting his own Boston and Nashua based firm in 1989. His firm works with Fortune 500 companies and start-ups too, on cases dealing with intellectual property disputes between patent/trademark/copyright owners and alleged infringers.
In addition, Senator Lambert has been in the Marine Corps reserve for over 30 years and his service includes deployments to the Middle East. Often referred to by his military rank, Colonel Lambert was a source of wise counsel on matters affecting the military and veterans.
The Energy and Natural Resources Committee handles legislative issues relating to the work of the Fish and Game Department. This is where Senator Lambert had a major impact over the past two years. He is an avid sportsman who hunts in Iowa and Maine and here at home in New Hampshire. His is a fisherman, too. And to top it off, he is a registered master Maine guide and commercial boat operator.
Whether you like the results of the work of the legislature each year, with the expertise, experience and talent of Senators like Gary Lambert, you have to agree that we have some very knowledgeable people making decisions in Concord. Senator Lambert is going to concentrate on his legal practice and his Marine Corps Reserve responsibilities but my guess is that you will see his name on the ballot for higher office down the road. And that will be good for New Hampshire.
My guests were granddaughters Eleanor (age 5) and Finley (age 3) and the occasion was last week’s performance of the Rockin’ Tale of Snow White at the New London Barn Playhouse. There are many children’s programs offered in the area and I have made it part of my summer to take these two grandchildren to the children’s shows at the Playhouse. They get a chance to dress up, we enjoy the performances and have lunch afterwards.
The girls seem to know more people in the audience than I do, especially other children. As I look around I see smiles on the faces of parents and grandparents who enjoy these special outings as much as the children.