Newly elected Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives William L. O’Brien of Mont Vernon was among the dignitaries who came together recently to honor New Hampshire’s fallen heroes. Calling it a “distinct privilege” to be included in the presentation, Speaker O’Brien reminded the more than 700 family members and friends gathered for the ceremony that New Hampshire has a long history of men and women who have given their lives in the name of freedom, dating back to the Revolutionary War.
“Such heroes still are still with us, as shown by the men and women being honored here today, including Lance Corporal Mathew Bertolino, whose mother Susan worked so hard to bring us the New Hampshire Medal of Honor,” said Speaker O’Brien.
The 2007 legislation (SB 223), sponsored by a group of nine Republican Senators and House members and signed into law by the governor, made eligible anyone who had given his or her life while in the line of duty protecting the rights and freedoms of New Hampshire residents anytime after Nov. 4, 1979—the day Iranians stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking hostage U. S. citizens who would remain in captivity for 444 days.
“Each of these sons and daughters of New Hampshire demonstrated that there remain with us extraordinary men and women, prepared to give their final, full measure as called by duty, honor and country,” concluded O’Brien.