“Live Free or Die”

I was born and grew up in a state with the motto “Live Free or Die.” Interesting motto!

The state adopted “Live Free or Die” in 1945. There was never a time that I wondered what that motto meant. It was always there as part of where I lived. I heard folks say “Live Free or Die OR Go Back Where You Came From.”

“Live Free or Die” is the state motto of New Hampshire. As one reporter called it, “A sliver of a state.” And yet, a state that is politically important. New Hampshire is in the national spotlight as politicians scramble to get there first. “This is the state that can make or break a Presidential candidate,” one reporter stated.

As a kid, I never realized the importance of the state I grew up in. It wasn’t until years later, when I lived in Tennessee, that I began to hear a lot about the state of New Hampshire on the news. There was a lot of political conversations and reports in the news, and New Hampshire was in the middle of the debates.

I can remember my excitement the first time I got to vote. Man, that was an amazing event, and a big event in my life. It was also the time that I became aware that many folks around me did not vote, did not want to vote, and had a jaundiced eye toward politics.

By the way, the man I voted for won. His name is Jimmy Carter. I was so excited — my vote made a difference. I helped get Mr. Carter into the White House! This voting stuff was cool!! Of course, since that time I have learned that it is not as cut and dry as I thought. But this voting stuff is still very cool!!

From that time on I have voted at every election whether it was for City Council or School Board or President of the United States. It is important to have a say in the voting booth. It concerns me to know that most Americans do not vote. For whatever reason they do not vote, this is a privilege that most people around the world do not have.

Today I am writing while on vacation in the “Live Free or Die” state. I am able to go home to New Hampshire once a year to see family, catch-up on all the family and town news, see people I have not seen in a very long time.

It’s the end of September, and the leaves are in a full ray of color — red, yellow, orange. The temperature is going down. People are preparing for winter which is knocking at their door any day now. In a few days I head back to my adopted state of Texas. But it’s important for me to go back home each year.

There are times I want to see the beautiful leaves again. I want to hear the news about people I knew a long time ago. After a long, hot summer in Texas I want to feel the cool temperature of my home state. However, when it starts to get really cold and the snow starts to fall, I want to be in my adopted state of Texas where the winters are much milder.

Politics aside, New Hampshire is a beautiful state to be from. Time stands still for a moment. You hear the laughter of children playing; smell the smoke that gently rolls out of a chimney some where down the road; and see the colors of fall once again break out over the mountains around you. Today is a good day to be home.

Today, do something that challenges you, Linda

[This blog began with the question, where does “Live Free or Die” come from? When I asked family members, no one knew. So to Wikipedia I go. The phrase, “Live Free or Die,” comes from a toast written by General John Stark, New Hampshire’s famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War, on July 13, 1809. Poor health forced General Stark to decline an invitation to an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington. Instead, he sent his toast by letter: “Live Free or Die: Death is not the worst of evils.”]

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